What does your child need to develop well ?
He needs strength, stability-mobility, coordination skills, balancing skills, motor planning skills and the ability to practice it all. The best place to practice gross motor skills is the playground, gymnastics class and other sports.
Create a gym in your own back yard or in the basement or both! Your kids will thank you for it!
Get the best shoes and comfy, stretchy clothing.
Keep them safe and play often.
The rest is pretty much up to your child.
New balance 990 series are great shoes for toddlers. This is the shoe I recommend to the children's parents I work with.
There is the age long debate whether barefoot is the better way for your baby to learn to walk.
My opinion is that, if your baby is perfect then yes, barefoot is the best. However, if you notice even a slight difference in the way she is holding her feet while standing or walking the right shoe would be the best choice for your baby.
This is that right shoe.
In Europe orthopedic shoes still available and they are becoming very cute looking.
Kinga Shoes offer a variety of orthopedic shoes imported from Europe. If you can afford it I recommend buying orthopedic shoes for every child.
The best exercise for your baby's motor and critical thinking development is to spend time by himself discovering his body, his body's movements, strengths, the environment, the consequences of all his movements and the relationship between all.
To do that your baby will need lots of room. The floor is the best option, however, to make it a bit safer and conifer put this mattress topper on the floor for your baby to play on.
It is soft and firm enough to support and protect your developing child.
When your child is ready to do gymnastics like play the toddler mat will provide him with the safe surface he needs.
DeChunXian Harness - Walking Wings
This harness can help you to teach baby stepping and not hurt your own back.
Baby's start to be interested in walking around 7-9 months of age. At this age they need to practice stepping but are not able to balance themselves yet. This harness can help your baby learn stepping supporting her just the right way. If your baby wants to walk all the time holding your hands this harness is for you.
I do not recommend harnesses that do not support the baby under the trunk.
Here is a tool I am apprehensive to recommend because I can see so many ways of using this pillow and causinh harm to your baby.
Where is the harm?
In this picture we see a bay leaning to the side and with the pillow sitting straight up. It looks amazing how well she is sitting!
Is she ready to be in a supported sitting position for more than few minutes? Nope, not at all. She needs to spend time developing the right muscles playing on the floor. She needs to roll, kicks, push up not sit.
However with this pillow she could be placed in this stander or a walker, or maybe a jumper or the highchair way before she is ready for longer periods of time and way to often.
So why is this then on my list?
Because it can promote your baby's development IF and ONLY IF used correctly!
When your child is learning to walk he most likely will enjoy walking with a push toy.
Choose a push walker/rider that can be weighted down. When the baby stars walking with the push toy she will depend on its sturdiness. The wheels make it roll fast, but if you put a gallon (or two) of water in it it will give him enough resistance to be safe.
Beginner walkers should use the push toy on the carpet (if you have one) so the toy will roll slower. Some of the walkers will come with adjustable wheel speed.
The push walker should not be something to interact with. Nowadays the push toys made to fulfill multiple functions and thus are not able to do either job well. Push toys that sing, have a phone, puzzle ext are not the best choice for your baby. The push walker should not be considered a toy until it helps your baby learn to walk. It is an assertive device. When she is walking she will enjoy pushing it around as a cart or stroller.
The step in area has to be wide, so your baby wont hit her feet in the wheels. Or the handle should be far enough from the base of the push walker.
The height should be a bit bellow your baby's elbow level.
The push walkers bellow all have the possibility to place the gallon(s) of water to help your baby learn to walk well. It is all about how your baby learns to walk, not about how fast she learns to walk!
These are my three favorites:
Making a back yard playground from pieces gives you a choice to create what is really a good motor building tool-set.
Here are pieces that I recommend choosing for a home playground. Use them instead or in addition to the swing sets.
You can set them up on a frame, part of an existing swing set or on some strong tall trees in your backyard.