Tips and Tricks Tuesdays- Is your push toy running away from your kiddo?

I start using a push toy as I progress my patients from cruising along furniture to taking steps forward.  I practice walking while holding onto their hands and also practice walking with a push toy like this one:

It’s harder to walk with a push toy for the first time because toddlers aren’t used to taking steps forward and are usually wary to take a step because they don’t have the hip strength to prevent themselves from falling forward.

So here is how I slow down a push toy to help increase a kiddo’s confidence with taking steps forward:

I weigh it down to make it heavier so that it doesn’t slide forward so easily, here are some ways I way it down:

push toy with weight

  • for convertible push toys that transition from a toy your child can sit on to a toy they can walk with, I recommend using a 3-5 lb dumbbell and sliding it in open corner as shown in the picture.
  • There are a number of push toys that have great slots to throw weights in, so I recommend buying a push toy serves more than the single function of just walking and pushing, and recommend getting one that has a place where you can store items to weigh it down.  Plus it’ll make the toy more interesting as your kiddo can store their own fun times in there once they don’t need it weighed down anymore.
  • If you have more than 1 child, you can also use one of these push toys and have 1 kiddo go for a ride to help weigh down the push toy.
  • I would also recommend starting to use a push toy on carpet or grass rather than on tile or wood floors right away because that will make it really zoom forward!
  • As your child develops better balance with walking with a push toy, you can gradually decrease the weight to having no extra weight.
  • You also don’t have to use just dumbbells.  I tell parents to fill up water bottles with sand, or use cans or an other household objects to weigh down the push toy.
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Categories: Tips and Tricks Tuesdays

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2 replies

  1. I have a question regarding this. When I have used weighted push toys, I feel that kids tend to just lean forward more, their feet get further away, and they don’t learn to balance and control the toy. Have you had this problem? I usually recommend that for the first few tries, the caregiver walk along with the child and just provide a little assistance at the front of the toy when needed to prevent it from slipping away, but still giving the child the feeling that the toy moves quickly if they don’t control it. I agree that carpeted areas are the best place to start.

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    • Hi TIffany, thanks for your comment. How much weight are you putting in the push toy? I usually just put 5-10 lbs and that seems to be enough to make it heavy enough for the push toy not to fly forward too quickly, but not so heavy that they are working to push it forward rather than walk with it.

      I also have parents block the push toy too if they don’t have anything to weight down the push toy. If i do use weights, i gradually take the weight away once my patient has better standing balance, and when they are able to walk without any weight on the toy, I know they are getting closer to walking independently.

      hope that helps, let me know if you have any more questions

      Like

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