Changing Colors: The Blog of Spectrum Pediatrics

August 24, 2016

Trick of the Trade by Colleen Donley, PT, DPT

Push Toys

A typically developing child should be taking their first steps around their first birthday. Often, little ones start cruising at furniture and taking steps with their hands held around 10 or 11 months. This is a perfect age to begin introducing a push toy to your moving baby.

Pushing a push toy along puts a child’s hands in the perfect spot to learn how to walk independently: down at chest/waist height and in front of their bodies. Using a push toy will teach babies to shift their weight forward to move forward. Parents often have concerns because they see their child literally fly across the floor as they lean forward on these push toys. We want our little ones to learn how to walk in a slow and controlled manner rather than a coordinated fall for a long distance. Bring on the weights! You can add ankle weights around the bottom, go shopping for canned goods in the pantry for the shopping cart, or load up heavy baby dolls in the stroller for a ride. Adding weight to push toys makes kiddos have to activate their muscles much more, slows them down, and allows them the chance to take a coordinated step each and every time!

Don’t have space for another baby gadget in your house or your little one gravitates to anything but toys? Try diaper boxes or the laundry basket!

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