Every opportunity for simple, active play is a chance for your baby to learn more about their body and the world around them and for new skills to emerge. And floor time is nothing less – it can be one of the most stimulating activities for your baby.
Playing on the floor with your baby is actually good for you too! Playful parenting is a way of entering a baby’s world, on the baby’s terms, in order to foster closeness, confidence and connection.
Benefits of Floor Time
Babies, who spend more time on floor, develop their psycho-motor skills at an earlier age than those babies who are not given the opportunity to use their body to physically explore their world.
Promotes self exploration
Play time on the floor will give your baby enough time to learn about his own body. Babies are able to move their arms, legs and entire bodies easily while they are lying on their backs. These random motions help the baby to have a better insight into his body parts and make him learn how to control the individual movements
Creates time for baby curiosity and exploration
Floor time allows your baby to explore their surroundings and use sensory information that helps with muscle and brain development. Motivated by their curiosity, once they try a new move, they are intrigued and want to repeat it several times and this creates the foundation for achieving other milestones
Fosters improved motor skill development
When you lay your baby tummy down on the floor, the first thing your baby would do is to push their head up in order to avoid hitting their head on the floor. Your baby will learn to keep his head upright while bearing their weight on the elbows. This prepares them to achieve other more advanced motor skills
Helps strengthen the muscles
Time spent playing freely on the floor allows for movement of the whole body. This enables your baby to develop strength in a wide range of muscles in the arms, legs, back and core
Develops balance and coordination
Your baby will learn the act of balancing while on the floor as your baby tends to move sideways, back or front while spending time on his tummy or back
Helps develop visual skills
Laying your baby on the floor and slowly moving toys back and forth before their eyes enhances visual tracking skills. Your baby will be able to practice tracking objects horizontally and vertically, which is essential for reading
Improves fine motor skills
Floor time allows your baby to reach out for different toys and grasp them. Scattering toys in front of your baby encourages him to move and grab his favourite one, and improves the grasping power of those little hands
Teaches foundation skills needed for language and communication
Floor time encourages communication skills through play, which involves back and forth exchanges with the parent and child. These interactions help the baby to develop communication and cognitive skills
Allows baby to stretch
When you are holding your baby all the time, they don’t really get the chance to stretch out. Putting your baby tummy down on the floor for some time helps him stretch, which is very important for muscular development
Provides opportunity for tummy time
Once your baby starts to enjoy playing on the floor, it gives him ample opportunity to roll onto his tummy and spend some time there to avail all the benefits of tummy time.
It simply brings you and your baby closer
Playing together on the floor is a great opportunity to strengthen the bond you have with your baby. By spending time playing with baby daily, you are building trust and closeness that will last a lifetime.
When to start
The key is to start doing this early and incorporate it into their daily schedule. By about 4 months, your baby should be able to lift his chest off the floor and lean on the elbows with his head upright
How long should it last
Putting your baby on his stomach on the floor (under supervision) for around 20 minutes per day by the age of 3 to 4 month can help your baby develop physical, language, social and emotional skills.
Moving naturally through fundamental movement patterns during the first year is essential for healthy brain development of your baby. Just imagine all of the wonderful things that happen when babies get to explore their world in a safe and secure environment. Their brain is making connections; their visual perception is becoming more precise, developing better depth and spatial perception.
As an added bonus, a baby will never fall off the FLOOR
Play with Purpose !!