Hesperian Health Guides

Activities to Encourage Rolling and Twisting

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HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 35: Early Stimulation and Development Activities > Activities to Encourage Rolling and Twisting


After a baby has fairly good head control, usually the next step in development is to roll over. Rolling involves sideways twisting of the head and body. Twisting, or rotation of the upper body on the lower body, must be learned before a child can learn to crawl and later to walk.

Babies normally learn by themselves to roll over. But children who are developmentally delayed will learn faster with special help and encouragement. Help the child learn first to lift and turn her head to the side, then her shoulders and body.

Attract the child’s attention by holding a rattle or toy in front of her, Encourage her to reach sideways for the toy,
DVC Ch35 Page 304-1.png
then move the toy to one side, so the child turns her head and shoulders to follow it. then move the toy upward, so that she twists onto her side and back.
If she does not roll over after various tries, help her by lifting her leg. Also, help the child learn to roll from her back onto her side. Again, have her reach for a toy held to one side.
illustration of the above: a woman speaking while holding a toy and lifting a child's leg.
Come get the rattle. Good girl!
If the child has spasticity, you may need to help position this arm before she can roll over.
DVC Ch35 Page 304-3.png


Remember: The first rule of THERAPY: Help only as much as needed, encouraging the child to do more and more for herself.



This page was updated:19 Jan 2018