Rolling and exploring

These activities are suitable for children aged 4-12months and align with stage 1b of the Developmental Journal Babies Visual Impairment (DJVI).

On this page

Safety first

What you'll need

Mats, sound or light up toys, furniture, blanket 


Rolling is a key part of physical development and the early foundations for your child's mobility. Rolling starts to open up their world as a little explorer and helps them to experience new textures, surfaces and objects close to them.

At first, you may need to hold your child on their side or support them with a pillow. Wherever possible, make the area fun and interesting, as this will encourage your child to roll. Here are a few tips you may find helpful:

  • Try using the experience of rolling as part of your child's daily routine when changing or dressing.
  • A fun way to introduce rolling is to use a blanket on a soft surface and, with a partner, gently raise one side to roll your child for a few centimetres, or from side to side.
  • To encourage your child to roll, place them on their side and encourage them to follow your voice or a toy that makes a noise.
  • Lay your child beside different surfaces such as furniture sides, so they can feel different textures.
  • Lay beside your child and talk or sing to them, so they can reach and feel for you.
  • Use light up or sound-emitting toys, or foil blankets beside your child.

Try to encourage your child to roll from their side on to their back. You can then progress to rolling from their back to their side and eventually onto their tummy. You can show them what you want them to do by gently rolling them, to let your child learn the pattern of movement.

Please supervise your child at all times while completing any of these activities.

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