Your little explorer is on the move. Whether your baby prefers the cross crawl, belly crawl, or butt scoot, it’s important to encourage his newfound mobility. So we’ve gathered a handful of DIY games perfect for the crawling set. Using items from around the house (or in the fridge), from bubbles to balls, boxes and more, these awesome activities are sure to inspire lots of movement.
Photo: Jen via Plain Vanilla Mom
Have a Ball
It might sound far-fetched, but simply rolling a brightly-colored ball back and forth, or across the room, is a great way to get your tot to crawl. Jen at Plain Vanilla Mom calls it “a quintessential toy of childhood.” We couldn’t agree more.
Photo: Amy via Lilly & Bliss / Kimberly Photography
…Or Lots of Them
Why play with just one ball when you can create an entire ball pit? Use safety gates as a frame or inflate a kiddie pool like Amy of Lilly & Bliss did for her kids. Baby will have a ball swimming through the vibrant, multi-hued sea, and tossing the balls in and out.
Photo: Amanda via Dirt and Boogers
Babies love feeling new textures. So Amanda at Dirt & Boogers combined crawling and sensory play by creating a “road” of sights and sounds with everyday household objects. Making their way from bamboo mat to fuzzy blanket, your little wriggler will enjoy discovering each new surface.
Photo: Jamie via Hands On: As We Grow
Follow the Bubble Wrap Road
Recently moved? Received a huge online order? Take a cue from Jamie over at Hands On: As We Grow and put all that extra bubble wrap to good use! Create a pop-able path by securing the sides with bright painters tape (so you don’t ruin the floor) and encourage Baby to crawl, or roll his favorite toy, back and forth. He’ll love the texture beneath their hands and knees, and the sound of the bursting bubbles.
Photo: Ana via Bluebird Kisses
Create an Obstacle Course
Under, over, around, and through. Obstacle courses are the perfect way to challenge your little mover. Ana, the mama bird over at Bluebird Kisses, transformed the living room floor into a soft obstacle course for her little guy to safely test his new skills. Easy to re-create, simply put pillows, cushions, plush toys and blankets around the room, and let the exploration begin.
Make a Water Blob
As temperatures rise, venture outside with a homemade water sensory mat. All you’ll need is plastic sheeting, waterproof duct tape, and a hose. Add some familiar toys and let your little one explore the squishy space. Check out the how-to on Babble.
Photo: Marcin Banaszek via Flickr creative commons
Blow Some Bubbles
Bubbles truly are a baby’s best friend. Your babe will burst with excitement trying to catch each bubble as it floats toward the ground. Check out the Artful Parent to find easy instructions for making your own bubbles and wand at home. Perfect for playing indoors or out, expect lots of giggles with every pop!
Make a Sensory Box
Crawling in and out of boxes, like this one created by private art teacher Meri Cherry, is an awesome sensory game that’s sure to offer endless fun. A cardboard box and variety of ribbons in different widths, colors and patterns are all you will need.
Photo: Anna via The Imagination Tree
Build a Cardboard Box Tunnel
Kids love boxes (it’s a cliché for a reason). So before you toss your boxes into the recycling pile, create a tunnel for the kids to crawl through. Anna at The Imagination Tree added an element of surprise by hanging socks and other soft items inside. Plus, it’s the perfect set up for a rousing game of peek-a-boo!
Photo: Andrea via Pinksugarland / Pink Sugar Photography
Play with Pull Toys
Get ready for a fun game of cat-and-mouse with your little one in hot pursuit. Zig, zag and wiggle a pull toy just out of reach to keep baby on the move, like Andrea at Pinksugarland. No pull toy on-hand? A favorite toy attached to a piece of rope also does the trick.
What games do you and your crawler play? Share with us in the Comments!
— Lauren Hill