Bird’s Nest families,
For a lot of the babies in our class, learning to walk is the next step in their gross motor development and we are so excited about it! Included are a few exercises that use yourselves and household items to aid in the strength and mobility of your little ones. They can be sprinkled in throughout the day and don’t have to be done in any particular order. Turn some music on, take their socks off, and get them moving!
- Below are exercises that require some props.
Holding the baby’s hips, place him/her sitting on a medium sized ball facing you – only support him/her at the hips, so he/she supports his/her own trunk. Never letting go, gently roll the ball forward and back and then from side to side. Since you’re not holding his/her upper body and trunk, he/she will have to use those muscles to maintain his/her balance and stay upright.
Props needed: medium sized ball, or medicine ball works great!
Take a dish towel or bath towel and fold vertically. Take the towel and place it around his/her chest ( ends of the towel should be in your hands behind him/her) Place their favorite toy a short distance away and motivate him/her to walk forward to the toy ( preferably the toy is at their eye level)
Props needed: dish towel and a toy
Tape (masking tape) fun “treasures” (toys) to a wall or surfaces he/she typically stands around i.e. couch, refrigerator, crib, table etc. He/she should be able to pull the tape off, get the treasure, play with it, and go for the next one. This activity is an encouraging opportunity to motivate your baby to “cruise” along furniture and prevents the urge to crawl/sit, further aiding in muscle strength and core development.
Props needed: any tape that will hold and toys.
- Below are the exercises that include you and your baby. They don’t require any toys, just your bodies!
Put yourself in a seated position and hold both of the baby’s hands as he/she is standing up. When you feel like he/she is balanced, let go of one of one of their hands. When he/she starts to lose balance, hold both hands again. Alternate and repeat the exercise, and talk encouragely throughout. This exercise is great for balance and coordination.
Hold baby upright and see how long he/she can stand unassisted after doing the exercise above. Count the seconds and give praise after every try. Learning to fall/the feeling of falling is also a huge part of walking, so make sure to try this one in a cushioned area.
We are so excited to watch our friends begin the process of learning to walk and becoming walkers! If possible, please take pictures so we can see their progress. We look forward to hearing from ya’ll!