Learning to crawl opens up a whole new world for your baby. But does that mean you need all new toys with special features to keep them happy? Nope! Some classic toys and a few clever tricks to engage your crawler are all it takes for hours of fun. Read on for our favorite classic toys for babies on the move. Best of all, you probably have some of these already, so playtime can start immediately.
photo: Roniloren via Flickr
Toy Cars, Trains, Planes and Buses
A toy with wheels is a hit with kids of all ages, but it’s especially fun for crawlers, who can give it a push and race right after it. You can also place it just out of their reach to give them a goal to crawl toward.
photo: Zaheer Mohiuddin via Flickr
Pick any size ball, any color, even an old soccer ball, basketball or tennis ball you have laying around. Then watch your little mover try to get control of that rolling sphere. This simple toy also offers lots of ways for you to play together. Roll it toward your child, then away from them and see how they react. Bounce it along the floor or off the wall, or toss it into a basket. Chances are, your baby will try to follow its movements.
A crawl tunnel, like this one from eWonderWorld, gives your baby a safe, exciting place to explore. It can stand alone as a fun, multi-sensory way to enjoy different colors, textures and sounds. Or, you can build a larger obstacle course with other toys and household items for your little one to navigate.
The music and pop-up effect of a classic jack-in-the-box like this Jester In a Box by Schylling will motivate your crawler to move. Sit a few steps away from your child and turn the handle. When they hear the tune “Pop Goes the Weasel,” they’ll scoot on over for the surprise.
photo: The Stationery Studio
A Personalized Stool
It might seem early for a step stool, but a personalized puzzle stool like this one from The Stationery Studio will grow with your child. At this stage, they can crawl to it and pull themselves up, or push it around in front of them. And you can sit with them to help them complete the puzzle. Eventually, they’ll use the stool to step up to the sink to wash hands and brush teeth.
photo: Green Toys
Stacking Cups or Blocks
If you build it, they will come. That’s how stacking cups and blocks like the Green Toys Stacking Cups set work with crawlers. Pile them up and your kid will zoom across the room to knock down that teetering tower.
Similar to push toys and cars, pull toys encourage babies to observe what happens when they apply a force to an object — in the cutest way possible. This waddling duck family pull-along toy by Janod hits all the nostalgic notes with its colorful wooden design. As your child crawls around holding the string, the ducks will waddle and their feet will flap as they follow along.
photo: Skip Hop
That mirror your baby loved to gaze into during tummy time is just as exciting to them during the crawling phase. Find a shatterproof version that stands up on its own, like the sweet Silver Lining Cloud Activity Mirror by Skip Hop. Place it where your baby is playing so they can discover it again and again as they crawl around. Bonus points if you can teach baby to give themselves a kiss.
What are your favorite toys for babies on the move? Share them in the comments below.
— Whitney C. Harris
featured image: Philippe Put via Flickr