Prone and kneeling activities

New: Guide to assessment of atypical development in prone Read more

Although infants with atypical development may not tolerate being prone on a flat surface, there are other options for providing infants with opportunities to develop the neck and trunk flexibility and muscle strength promoted by spent time in prone, as well as the ability to take weight on the UEs in preparation crawling. 

The TOMT 0-3 assessment includes items that  allow the therapist to identify different  ways in which the physical environment can be adapted to allow the infant to assume a prone lying position, develop trunk extension in prone and start to explore possibilities for taking weight on the UE.

Some thoughts about crawling 
A series of blog posts in response to Mindy Silva's question: Why do infants "bunny hop"?
About the neonate to crawling series 
Variability, learning to balance in prone kneeling and early crawling

What abilities are needed for reciprocal crawling? 
Infants who "bunny hop" need to acquire more varied patterns of movement
​Prone kneeling: strength, coordination, stability and balance requirements

Training activities

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Infants with developmental delay, preterm infants and those with joint hypermobility often dislike prone lying, do not push up into prone kneeling and are slow to learn to transition from sitting to kneeling. 

Below are several activities (available to subscribers) that are adapted to encourage the infant to tolerate prone, practice kneeling at a step and transition from sitting to kneeling.

  • R 10m kneeling at block 5_2.jpgInfants who dislike tummy time will often be quite happy when positioned on their tummies at a low block. In this position it is easier to push up on the arms, look ahead  and to start reaching for toys with one hand. 

  • Max 13m sit kneel transition 2.jpgIn this video clip you see the impact of the position of the hips on the infants ability to move from sitting to kneeling at a low block. 

  • In this clip you see Roan and her Nana Pam (grandmother) playing. My objective was to get Roan to move from sitting into kneeling. My legs provide support for her attempts to reach  toys which I  present just out of reach. 

  • Playing when kneeling at a low block provides opportunities for exploring kneeling as a position, transferring weight, and strengthening the arms in readiness for crawling. 

  • Crawling up a slope.jpgOnce an infant has mastered the basics of crawling, it is a good idea to provide him/her with opportunities for crawling up, onto and over different surfaces.