Baby Talk: Resources to support the people who work with infants and toddlers

Issue No. 9  February 2012


Importance of Physical Play for Motor Development

Jeffrey Trawick-Smith’s annotated bibliography of evidence for the benefits of play is organized by age group. Visit From Playpen to Playground—The Importance of Physical Play for the Motor Development of Young Children ( and you can access evidence on 1) infant/toddler play and physical development/brain growth, 2) infant/toddler play and cognition, perception and language, or 3) infant/toddler play and social-emotional development. This resource was developed for the National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play (


Help Toddlers Develop Fine Motor Skills

Help toddlers to develop crucial fine motor skills with the activities suggested in this sequence of web pages from Baby Center (  There is a lot of information on how to develop fine and gross motor skills, with emphasis on children who are right- or left-handed.


Motor Development for Toddlers

Toddlers acquire motor skills in a predictable sequence: First they walk, then run and climb, then jump with both feet, for example. But while the sequence may be consistent, the rate at which individual children develop varies enormously. And when a toddler seems to be late on a particular milestone, such as walking, it can be difficult to tell whether the problem is just an individual quirk or a true motor development problem. This article ( helps make distinctions between qualitative and quantitative differences, and highlights ten red flags that may signal an early motor development problem.

Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features one or more resources, the majority of which are available to download at no cost. To join the listserv, send an email with no message to For additional information (or to offer suggestions), please contact Camille Catlett at or (919) 966-6635.