The moveable feast

From your baby’s first days of swimming in utero and throughout early childhood, he is developing body maps that give him a secure sense of self – and his first math skills.

As your child moves, her little brain is receiving a feast of sensory information about her own body. Gradually she builds up an internal map of herself that serves as her own inner resource for confidence and mastery activity.

Natural early movements, including primary reflexes, are developmental for the brain and body. These reflexes provide automatic movement-brain connections that organize your child’s brain for easy function.

A well organized body map is three dimensional with clear orientation for front-back, up-down, and side-side. This may seem deceptively simple – but lots of children who have attention problems and more profound challenges lack a clear body map. A muddy, chaotic map creates a tremendous amount of anxiety. A clear body map generated through movement is essential for your child’s developing abilities to modulate her emotions. Often people think that our ability to regulate emotions is driven from top down – from the frontal cortex issuing orders to the lower brain. This comes later, and must build on core organization of the brain to find balance within the lower brain. Developmental movements are nature’s design to help organize our complex brains.

Ah – and we as adults benefit by doing these movements to bring ourselves continuously in balance. So enjoy playing with your baby on the floor, tumbling with your toddler, and playing catch with your big kid.