CRAWLING DEVELOPMENT: Too many 4-year-old kids who can’t crawl: study Development

Too many 4-year-old kids who can’t crawl: study |

active for life, physical activityGuest Blog Post
AFL Team

Too many 4-year-old kids who can’t crawl: study

Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.

A British study finds that nearly a third of four- and five-year-olds cannot do basic physical movements like crawling or standing on one leg. And the deficiency seems to be linked to poor academic achievement.

The UK newspaper Daily Mail summarizes the findings in a recent article:

“Sixty children in reception classes at a school in the West Midlands were given 14 short tests, including asking them to balance on one leg for three seconds and crawl a short distance.

The study found 30 per cent of pupils showed signs of physical immaturity and a further 42 per cent some signs of delays in development.

Some children even appeared not to have lost primitive baby reflexes, such as their arms and head extending when their head moves to the side.”

Pete Griffin, who administered the study with the Institute of Neuro-Physiological Psychology, says children aren’t developing physically because they’re spending more time in front of screens. He also believes parents are driving and carrying their kids everywhere, noting that babies who don’t spend time on the floor don’t get opportunities to try things like crawling and rolling.

“The main issue is that children don’t have the same kind of physical challenge and upbringing they might have had 40 or 50 years ago,” says Griffin.

Researchers also found that of the children who placed in the bottom half for physical maturity, 77 per cent fell into the bottom groups for academic ability. Griffin suggests this is because children who spend their early years watching TV are not able to concentrate when it comes time to learn and study.

Too many 4-year-old kids who can’t crawl: study |

Active for Life is a non-profit organization committed to helping parents raise happy, healthy, physically literate kids. For more articles like this one, please visit

Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs


  1. I wonder how many of these children were kept long hours in portable car seats? I find that even conscientious parents are surprised when they count up the number of hours their infants are kept held in place by equipment such as this.

  2. […] Now does this mean that if your child skips the crawling phase they will automatically have some type of learning challenge? Not necessarily. For some babies who skip the crawling phase, they turn out perfectly fine with no problems. However, for several students we see on a regular basis who show signs of underdeveloped motor skills, parents tell us they missed certain developmental milestones, like crawling or other milestones, which has made an impact on their learning ability in the classroom. If your child shows signs of wanting to walk before they crawl, encourage them as much as possible. You may even need to get down on the floor and crawl with them. It can make a difference as shown in this study, “Too many 4-year-old kids who can’t crawl: study.” […]

  3. I agree completely. “Bucket babies” spend so much time in a confined position.

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