Postural development in young children

By June 12, 2024 June 13th, 2024 Occupational Therapy
Child on a bolster swing in an Occupational Therapy clinic with an Occupational Therapist for developmental delay or autism in Bondi Junction and Mascot in Sydney working on postural development

Postural development is super important for young children because it helps them learn to sit, stand, and move around with good balance and control. Good posture means that the body is aligned properly, which is crucial for all sorts of activities, from playing to learning. Let’s dive into why postural development matters and how it impacts a child’s growth and daily life.

Why Postural Development Matters

  1. Foundation for Movement: Good posture is the foundation for all movement. When children have strong postural skills, they can move more easily and safely. This includes sitting up straight, standing tall, and moving their arms and legs without losing balance. Strong postural muscles support these activities, allowing kids to explore their world confidently.
  2. Improved Coordination: Developing good posture helps improve a child’s coordination. This means they can better control their body movements, whether they’re running, jumping, or catching a ball. Good coordination is important for sports and playground activities, making it easier for kids to join in and have fun.
  3. Supports Learning: Believe it or not, good posture is important for learning, too. When children can sit comfortably and maintain a stable position, they can focus better on tasks like reading, writing, and listening to the teacher. Slouching or fidgeting can be distracting and make it harder to concentrate.
  4. Prevents Pain and Injury: Proper postural development helps prevent pain and injury. Kids with poor posture might develop aches and pains in their neck, back, or shoulders. Over time, bad posture can lead to more serious problems. Good posture keeps their body aligned, reducing the risk of injuries.

How to Encourage Good Postural Development

  1. Active Play: Encourage children to play actively. Activities like climbing, running, and jumping help strengthen the muscles that support good posture. Playing on playground equipment, riding bikes, and swimming are excellent ways to build these muscles.
  2. Core Exercises: The core muscles (the muscles around the stomach and lower back) are key to good posture. Simple exercises like tummy time for babies, crawling, and later, activities like sit-ups and balance games, can help develop a strong core.
  3. Proper Sitting Habits: Teach children to sit properly. Their feet should touch the ground, and their back should be straight against the chair. Using child-sized furniture can help support good posture. Encourage them to take breaks and move around to avoid staying in one position for too long.
  4. Backpacks: Make sure kids carry their backpacks correctly. The backpack should be light enough to carry comfortably and worn on both shoulders to distribute weight evenly. A heavy or poorly carried backpack can strain their back and shoulders.
  5. Yoga and Stretching: Yoga and stretching can be great for improving posture. Simple yoga poses and regular stretching can help children become more aware of their body alignment and strengthen their postural muscles.

The Big Picture

Good postural development is crucial for young children. It sets the stage for their physical activities, supports their learning, and prevents injuries. By encouraging active play, core exercises, proper sitting habits, careful use of backpacks, and activities like yoga, we can help children develop strong postural skills. This not only helps them move and play better but also supports their overall health and well-being.

So, focusing on postural development means giving children the tools they need to grow up strong, balanced, and ready for all the adventures that life has to offer!

Meet Leo

Leo is in kindergarten now but he started his Occupational Therapy program with us when he was 3 years old. Leo has low muscle tone and this was impacting so many areas of his life. He had trouble sitting on the floor during group at daycare. Leo could not do many fine motor tasks such as cutting, threading and drawing. His father said that he didn’t use the climbing equipment at the playground.

Leo attended 2 one hour Occupational Therapy sessions. These sessions directly targeted Leo’s postural skills. Leo used the climbing equipment, scooter boards, stepping stones, gym balls and the climbing wall. Leo’s progress was slow, and it was tricky to make the activities fun, but gradually everyone noticed changes. He used the climbing equipment at daycare. He was interested in riding his new bike that he got for his birthday. Leo started to be able to cut straight lines and colour in his favourite Paw Patrol pictures. Leo is still coming to see us for Occupational Therapy as he learns to write at school, but he has transitioned well to school. It turns out that Leo loves swimming which thrills his Mum!

Boost Your Child’s Postural Development!

Is your child struggling with posture and core strength? At OneOnOne Children’s Therapy, we offer specialised Occupational Therapy programs at our Bondi Junction and Mascot clinics designed to enhance your child’s postural development, boosting their confidence and overall physical health.

Join Our Postural Development Program!

Our skilled therapists use engaging activities and exercises tailored to each child’s unique needs, making therapy both fun and effective. From sitting and standing to more dynamic movements, we focus on building the core strength and posture essential for everyday activities.

Don’t wait—take the first step towards enhancing your child’s posture and overall well-being. Email us to schedule a consultation with us today at either our Bondi Junction or Mascot clinic and see how our Occupational Therapy program can make a significant difference. Together, we can help your child stand tall and thrive!