Your toddler probably loves to climb and bounce.She might be in heaven at one of those indoor playgrounds with inflatable bounce houses and 20-foot slides. But why pay a hefty entrance fee and battle throngs of big kids when you can make your very own Fun-Land right in your living room?
At this age, your toddler will have just as much fun at home, and may even enjoy being in a familiar environment as she explores what she can do with her developing muscles.
Some things you will need are items that your toddler can climb, bounce, sit, stand, and jump on. Try couch cushions, pillows, a booster seat, a large cardboard box, and a big plastic storage container.
First, clear the room. Remove anything with sharp corners, and push toys to the side. Then set about designing your indoor playground. Turn the storage container upside down and place it in front of the couch so that your toddler can practice climbing. Put several flat couch cushions on the floor for bouncing.
Getting baby to use her arms and legs prepares her to walk. Try to discourage her from the ‘bottom shuffle’ (baby sits on her bottom and scoots without using legs). Babies that bottom shuffle tend to walk later than babies that crawl. We want to encourage her to get up on her knees and use her arms to propel herself forward. A typical crawl is left hand, right knee, right hand, left knee.
Encourage her to push herself up on her arms and knees- this action strengthens her arms and legs. Dangling a favorite toy above her head is a good way to motivate her to move. You can make it fun by creating an obstacle course around the room and let her chase you. Try using pillows and sofa cushions. This will help to improve her confidence, speed, and agility. Always stay with baby during activity (a crawling baby is a mischievous baby). Crawling is good exercise for both of you.
This game is a great way to develop your little one’s sense of imagination. You can pretend that your living room is the sea and that he has to get to the other side of the room without getting his feet wet! This activity will encourage your toddler to strengthen his balancing skills.
Scatter some cushions around the floor as stepping stones. Show your toddler how to hop and jump his way across the living room. Point out ships, whales and mermaids on the way.
Oh yes… and watch out for those sharks!
Encourage your toddler to step carefully around the cushions. This is a time for your imagination to go wild and help baby to do the same. Have a lot of fun. Watch your toddler’s balance get better and better.