Using Only 1 Toy!
Before your baby will be ready to learn to walk, they are first going to need to work on their leg strength! Even though it can be nice to have a bunch of fancy toys, you don’t really need them all! This piggy bank toy I am going to talk about can be used way beyond the pre-walking stages! However, that is the stage we will be focusing on today. My name is Heather and I’m a pediatric physical therapist assistant. I am going to share with you 4 strategies I use that will help get your baby ready to walk, and the best part is all you need is ONE toy!
Bonus Pre-Standing Activity for your baby when they are learning to walk
Before standing comes sitting without support. Have your baby sit in ring sitting or side sitting. You can help your baby work on dynamic sitting balance in this position as well by placing toys to the side or at a 45-degree angle in front of them for them to reach for. This helps with oblique strengthening. Playing with this piggy bank toy will also help to work on your baby’s fine motor skills by utilizing a pincer grasp (in all sitting & standing positions!).
1. Maintaining Supported Standing- The First Exercise to help your baby get ready for learning to walk:
Alright now for the fun standing stuff! You can place the piggy bank toy on a support surface for your child to maintain standing support with 1-2 hands depending on their level of independence. Place the toy coins on the support surface and have them place the coins in the bank.
In this photo, you can see the cube chair that I used. I use these chairs at the clinic while working with patients as well. I really like these chairs because it has a high seat on one side, and when you flip the chair it also has a low seat. Another great feature is that you can flip the chair on its side and use it as a support surface (as seen in this photo above). They are also super sturdy and durable!
2. Transitioning from Sitting to Standing
Whether you are a kid or an adult, a great way to strengthen your legs is by doing “sit to stands” from a chair. This is a really great exercise for strengthening the glutes and quads! Frequent glute and quad strengthening is a must when your baby is learning to walk!
The lower the seat is the harder this exercise will be. If needed you can start with a chair that’s a bit higher and then progress to a lower sitting surface. This is another reason the 2 different seat levels on this chair make it a great option.
3. Transitioning from Squatting to Standing
Once it gets easy for your baby to maintain standing on a surface for a prolonged amount of time, you can begin to challenge their squatting abilities. As I mentioned earlier, working on sit-to-stands before squatting will also be helpful!
Is squatting down to the floor too difficult for your little one? try holding the coin for them at around their knee level and see if they are able to perform a mini squat to lower, reach down and grab the coin!
4. Cruising Along Furniture
Ok, here we are! The 4th and final way you can use this piggy bank to help get your baby ready for learning to walk! Cruising along furniture is a great way to work on your baby’s lower extremity strengthening!
A lot of our daily movement such as walking, squatting, pushing, and pulling occurs in the sagittal plane. Working on side stepping is a great exercise because this movement occurs in the frontal plane.
Working on side steps addresses strengthening the hip abductors ( the muscles on the outsides of your legs).
There are so many more activities. you can do with this toy!
Seriously! I have used this toy to address so many different developmental milestones! Let me know if you would like me to write a post in the future about activities you can use this toy for with older kiddos who are seasoned walkers! Thanks for reading!
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. Its always useful…
Great content, really detailed info.
Hi love, what an amazingly detailed blog! I’m not a mom, but I can see how knowing all these details…