Crawling isn't just a skill that is important to encourage for babies.
Crawling plays a crucial role in a child's motor development and helps lay the foundation for learning to read and write.
Here are a few reasons why crawling is important for children of all ages:
- Crawling helps strengthen a child's upper body, core muscles, and coordination. It builds their gross motor skills, which are essential for later activities like sitting, jumping, climbing, playing ball sports, etc.
- Crawling helps children to develop the necessary strength and stability for their body to engage in fine motor activities such as holding a pencil and writing
- Crawling involves the coordinated movement of the opposite limbs at the same time (crossing the midline). This crossing the midline movement stimulates brain development more during crawling than when a child is walking.
- Crawling helps integrate various sensory inputs, such as touch, proprioception (awareness of body position), and vestibular (balance and spatial orientation) senses. This sensory integration supports cognitive development and prepares children for tasks that involve visual tracking, letter recognition, and spatial awareness, all of which are important for reading and writing (learn more about sensory play here)
- Crawling promotes hand-eye coordination as children learn to focus their vision on objects while reaching out and grasping them. Hand-eye coordination is crucial for skills such as writing, where the eyes need to track the movement of the hand and coordinate with the formation of letters and words on paper.
- Crawling allows children to navigate their surroundings and develop a sense of space with their body parts, objects nearby, and their environment. This spatial awareness and body schema are essential for activities like understanding letter and word spacing, arranging words on a page, and developing a sense of left-to-right progression when reading and writing.
Despite all of the amazing benefits above, crawling is often overlooked, rushed through, or considered a 'baby movement'.
Learn more about crawling in this webinar