Infant Toddler Movement and Brain Development: Understanding the Critical Connection

Movement is essential for laying a strong foundation for brain development. In this course, explore how physical activity influences learning, cognitive, and social-emotional development in infancy and toddlerhood.

Upcoming sessions

  • Register for Spring 2019 (March 4 to May 6, 2019). Register by February 25. Early bird rate of $395 if you register for Spring 2019 by December 15. 

What to expect

  • Understand brain function, growth, and development as stimulated by movement for learning motor skills, cognitive skills, and social-emotional skills of infancy and toddlerhood.
  • Learn how early brain development impacts movement in infancy.
  • Understand the critical role of an actively engaged adult for early childhood learning.
  • Explore the human development theories that frame our understanding of appropriate physical activities for infants and toddlers.

Who should register

  • Professionals working with infants and toddlers
  • Parents of infants and toddlers

This online course is approved by the Minnesota Center for Professional Development to count toward career lattice steps.

Meet the instructor

Headshot of Carol LeitschuhCarol Leitschuh

Carol Leitschuh, Ph.D., is a Fulbright Scholar specializing in early childhood movement for children with atypical and typical movement patterns. Her international expertise is brought to focus in both theory and practice to readily be used across cultures and family contexts. For very young children, movement experiences are seen as critical in addressing positive developmental trajectories and avoiding cumulative risk. Dr. Leitschuh’s expertise is in assessment and evaluation. She is recognized as a special education scholar in the U.S. and abroad publishing Special Physical Education now in the 10th Edition. With a U.S. Department of Education grant, Dr. Leitschuh developed a valid and reliable monitoring tool of infant/toddler movement referred to as the Individual Growth and Development Indicator for Infant/Toddler Movement (Movement IGDI). The tool is used for two minutes in a standardized observation and is reported to be highly and significantly correlated with an overall comprehensive assessment of motor skills at these young ages.


  • Earn 42 clock hours
  • Early bird rate of $395 if you register by December 15 (for spring session only)
  • $435 registration fee

Required materials

Participants will be asked to rent and view the documentary Babies (available online for a small fee).

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation before Day 1 of the session: Full refund less $35 administrative fee
  • Cancellation Day 1 Week 1 through Day 1 Week 2: 75% refund less $35 administrative fee
  • Cancellation Day 2 Week 2 forward: No refund will be provided.

To cancel, send an email to Karen Anderson at