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Summer 2001 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Almost 100 Motor Activities for Infants and Toddlers

By Olga Uriegas, VI and O&M Specialist, Region 11 Education Service Center

Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Fall 1996 issue of SEE/HEAR, almost five years ago, but we thought it was worth reprinting for our readers who may not have received SEE/HEAR back then. Olga's ideas are pretty easy to implement. However, you may want to consult with your child's Orientation & Mobility Specialist about where to begin, given your child's current skills. She/He may also be able to demonstrate the best ways to support the baby's body as you help him/her with specific movements.

Initial orientation and mobility lessons should be with and for the parents of children with visual impairments. Here are some things you can do, Mom and Dad, with your infant or toddler.

  1. Mom and Dad hold baby close to your body, let him/her hear your heart beat, smell your scent, bond with you, etc.
  2. Say the baby's name as you touch him/her.
  3. Mom and Dad, talk to your baby while you actively move the baby's body.
  4. Mom call baby's name while Dad assists baby to turn from back to side.
  5. Rattle toy and assist baby to turn from back to side to touch the noisy toy.
  6. Dad or Mom assist baby to turn from back to left side and back to right side while in the crib, on the bed, or on the floor.
  7. Mom or Dad assist baby to turn from stomach to right side or stomach to left side while in the crib, on the bed, or on the floor.
  8. Mom or Dad assist baby to turn from stomach to back, from back to stomach.
  9. Mom or Dad assist baby to turn from back to front using a blanket.
  10. Say the baby's name as you touch him/her, talk to the baby, tell him/her what you are doing.
  11. Lie the baby on his/her back and gently massage baby lotion on the baby's arms. (Talk to baby and tell him or her "This is your arm.")
  12. Gently bring the baby's hands together and massage baby lotion on those little hands.
  13. Lie baby on his/her back and gently massage baby lotion on his /her legs. (Talk to the baby and say, "This is your right leg.")
  14. Lie baby on his/her back and gently massage baby lotion on the baby's tummy. (Talk to baby and tell him/her "This is your tummy.")
  15. Perform body massage while offering consistent body part labeling, rhythm (sing!) and language.
  16. Lie baby on his/her stomach on top of Dad's stomach, baby should be facing Dad's chest/neck area (Dad, talk to the baby).
  17. Lie the baby on his/her stomach on your knees and rock calmly and slowly while talking or singing a lullaby.
  18. Lie baby on his stomach, in your lap and gently rock him/her while singing, stop rocking when you pause in your singing.
  19. Enjoy your baby!
  20. Carry baby in front baby pack, let body awareness and bonding take place.
  21. Lie baby on his/her stomach on favorite blanket and give the baby a ride across the bed.
  22. Lie baby on his/her stomach on a favorite blanket and give the baby a ride across the carpet or the wooden floor or the grassy backyard.
  23. Mom or Dad help baby to turn in the crib or the bed from stomach to back.
  24. Dad and Mom assist the baby to turn to noisemaking toy that you are holding. Gently guide baby's hand toward the sound of the toy. Assist the baby with grasping a toy. Allow him/her plenty of time to explore the toy. Vary toys, but at first explore one or two toys which the baby prefers.
  25. Gently guide baby's hand toward the crib slats. Then guide the hand to grasp and shake (attach noise makers to the top of the slats).
  26. Assist baby to reach for a noisy mobile suspended from the crib.
  27. Combat crawl (with stomach contact) in the crib, on the carpet, on the linoleum floor. Combat crawl in cross pattern (with stomach contact) on the wooden floor.
  28. Straddle baby and assist him/her to creep across the surface moving arms, then moving arms and legs.
  29. Straddle baby to assist him/her to creep across surface at least 5 feet in a cross pattern.
  30. Assist baby to maintain sitting position for at least one minute.
  31. Have the baby sit with the sofa as a support. Place a small beach ball (with rice inside) in your baby's lap.
  32. Sit baby in the infant seat and explore a favorite toy.
  33. Sit baby in the infant seat placed on the grocery cart, while Mom brings items to touch, smell, and feel before she places them in the cart.
  34. Sit in a warm sandbox with pillow as support.
  35. Sit in warm sudsy water in the bathtub with Mom as support.
  36. Sit the baby in his/her high chair and explore a favorite toy.
  37. Mom or Dad sit behind baby and with your hands move baby's hands to play patty cake.
  38. Place baby on his/her tummy, assist baby to push up on hands.
  39. Roll a beach ball from Mom to baby, from Dad to baby, etc.
  40. Guide baby by the forearm (rather than a hand) to reach noisy toy.
  41. Assist baby to pull self to standing positions using support.
  42. Assist baby to stand and maintain his/her position with support.
  43. Dad, stand baby on your lap, support baby at trunk and waist.
  44. Allow baby to assume standing position without support.
  45. Assist baby in grasping a toy by lightly guiding the arm from the shoulders.
  46. Mom and Dad support baby to make walking movements.
  47. Let the baby walk with the support of the sofa, table or bed.
  48. Walk the baby without support from objects.
  49. Walk without support of objects with his/her arms outstretched with a wide base at the feet.
  50. Walk with weight evenly distributed, toes pointed in the direction he/she is headed.
  51. Walk from Mom to Dad with arms swinging at his/her side.
  52. Mom and Dad give baby the opportunity to walk on even and uneven surfaces . . . sloping hills, driveways, etc.
  53. Ascend steps on all fours by creeping or scooting.
  54. Make stair ascending movements with support from Mom or Dad.
  55. Ascend steps alternating forward foot (one foot per step).
  56. Descend back door steps on buttocks by scooting.
  57. Make stair descending movements with support.
  58. Descend front door steps one at a time ( both feet on each step) then progress to using alternating forward foot (one foot per step).
  59. Locate the top step.
  60. Descend 5 step stairs.
  61. Stop at the front/back door stair landing.
  62. Make running movements, while holding his/her hand.
  63. Run together, hand-in-hand.

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Last Revision: September 2, 2003