If it’s about that time for your toddler to start walking, you’re probably looking for helpful activities to encourage your child to get moving. Making learning fun is the biggest way to motivate a child.
Your little one may learn to walk at any point from 9 to 16 months and it’s totally normal to fall anywhere in that range. However, if they’re reaching those later months, you may need to give them a little boost for using those legs and improving their gross motor skills to start walking.
Here are some fun activities to use that should get your baby or toddler walking in no time. Also, check out these 14 Tips to Get Your Toddler Walking in No Time!
1. TREASURE HUNT
Tape toys and objects to a wall with painters tape. Place them close to eye level so your child has to reach for them in standing. Place the tape loosely on the wall so that they are able to remove it.
Once they grab the object, they will want to explore it! This will encourage them to use 2 hands and “tricking” them into letting go. It really works!
2. PUSH WALKERS
This push walker is a great sturdy toy that provides your baby with enough support to push while walking. Although these are giving them support, they still allow your child to practice the skill of walking independently.
When they first start using it, they will be pushing most of their weight into it and leaning forward.
As they strengthen their trunk and leg muscles, they will learn to stand more upright and only use it as a guide, instead of full support.
This push walker has a wide, heavy base that provides enough support for your baby to prevent them from toppling over as they push. It also plays fun music and has a lot of activity buttons on the front.
3. PUSHING FURNITURE
My son loves pushing the kitchen chairs all around the room. Toddlers will get a kick out of being able to move furniture through the house and you’ll be surprised how strong they are!
Make sure the furniture is bottom-heavy so it can not topple on them or cause them to fall. Always supervise your child when moving furniture.
4. PLACE TOYS AND OBJECTS AT EYE LEVEL
If you’re using a motivator, such as their favorite toy or object, DON’T put it on the ground. Having to look down for an item will just make your child want to squat down and crawl or reach to get it.
Instead, make sure the item is at their eye level. For example, placing it on a couch, coffee table, or chair is a great spot. Have them walk toward the object, whether they are holding on or not.
5. GIVE THEM TWO OBJECTS AT A TIME
This activity is more to get them standing independently. However, standing on their own will build the confidence and strength that they need for walking.
While they’re playing at a tabletop, couch, or somewhere that their toys are eye level, make sure they have two items that they will be excited about. If your child gets as excited to ‘put in’ as mine does, he won’t think twice about grabbing both items at the same time.
As they decide to explore both objects, this will help them to let go of the surface that’s holding them up. It will make them realize that they can, indeed, stand on their own, working on their balance and strength at the same time.
6. USE A BLANKET OR SCARF FOR SUPPORT
Roll up a blanket or scarf and place it across your child’s chest and under their arms. Hold the ends of the blanket behind them. This activity still provides them with support but allows them to walk without holding on.
7. FEET ON FEET
Stand your child on your own feet, facing you, and walk backward. This will allow your child to move their feet reciprocally to practice walking.
. . . . .
Don’t forget to check out these 14 Tips to Get Your Toddler Walking in No Time for more ways to encourage and motivate.
Remember that with walking comes a lot more chaos. Your child will be able to reach things that you didn’t have to worry about before and get into things that you didn’t think of. Therefore, make sure your home is babyproofed to the best of your abilities to avoid any harmful experiences.
I hope you now understand how to teach your baby to walk. As always, little ones all develop at their own pace. Use these activities to have fun and encourage your child, but allow them the freedom to naturally learn on their own.