Tips to Promote Independent Standing and Walking

Tips to Promote Independent Standing and Walking

For many kids, the transition from crawling to standing and walking can be difficult. One of the things pediatric physical therapists work on with babies and young toddlers is independent standing and walking. Many of the activities to promote standing and walking can easily be done at home as well. Here are a few options!

Standing at a support surface while playing with toys. This activity promotes upright standing posture and decreased reliance on using their arms for balance. Firstly, move the toy further away so the child can support her or his chest on the surface. Secondly, move the toy close to the edge so the child has to maintain their balance without support. Placing toys on low tables, chairs or couches is often a great option for this!

Standing with their back against a wall. This activity can help promote an upright stance without using arms for support. Progress this activity by placing a toy or standing a few feet in front of the child for the child to take a few forward steps to.

Push toys. A push toy is a toy with wheels and a handle for young toddlers to hold onto and walk with. Push toys are a great option for toddlers learning to walk, because it allows them to explore their environment independently while also having some support for balance. Varying the surface between carpet and hard floors can add an extra motor planning challenge.

Transferring between and along surfaces. Children can learn how to shift their balance and take sideways steps when they have a long surface or two surfaces to play on. Playing along with a couch or transferring from a couch to a coffee table can be a great option for this.

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