There are lots of fun ways to teach baby how to crawl.
Why do it?
- Baby will be interested in moving after something that rolls away from them.
- Learning to move helps baby get to things and places, and explore them — this helps their movement skills and encourages their curiosity.
- Babies get frustrated when they want to explore but can’t. Learning to move increases their competence and reduces their feelings of frustration.
- An obstacle course can help baby build on their crawling skills by gradually adding a bit more challenge.
- Baby can hear the words that mirror their experience — ‘Up onto the cushion…down off the cushion…through the box…under the table…between the chairs…’ and so on.
How to do it
- Gather up a ball and some other ‘rolling’ toys — for example:
- Cut a piece off the end of a paper towel roll. You can decorate or permanent markers.
- Fill a small clear plastic drink bottle with water. Add a drop of food colouring, oil, and even a sprinkle of glitter. Glue and tape the lid tightly shut.
- Put ‘noise making’ items in a plastic jar and glue and tape the lid tightly shut.
- Place a rolling toy just out of baby’s reach.
- When baby tries to reach the toy, put your hand or foot behind their feet so they can push off and reach the toy.
- Celebrate their success with a cheer or clap, and let them explore the toy.
- When they’re ready, try the technique with a different rolling toy.
- Remember baby will be mouthing. Lids need to be safely secured and checked regularly to stop objects getting out and becoming a choking hazard.
- The tape should also be the type that stays fixed and not easily loosened by a ‘dribbly’ mouth.
Make a crawlers obstacle course:
- Begin with a low cushion — encourage baby to get up onto it and then down off it again.
- Add a box with both ends pushed out that baby can crawl through.
- Add something that baby can go under (maybe the coffee table).
- Add something that baby can go between (try two chairs).
- Try going round the course with baby.
- If baby doesn’t want to do any part of the course, that’s fine. It’s a simple enough activity to set up and try again later.
Using more te reo Māori
|Titiro mai||Look here|
|Hoki whakamuri||Go backwards|
|Aru mai i ahau||Follow me|
|Haramai, haere mai||Come here|
|Ka pai||Well done|
|Kia mataara||To be alert, vigilant|
|Huakina mai tō waha||Open your mouth|
|Rāoa||To choke, be choking|