Baby Push Walker for Development

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Today, I am very excited to share information on a baby push walker toy that can help with babies who are learning to walk. The Radio Flyer Walker Wagon is a push wagon that helps babies with sit to stand and that next step of taking steps with support. Not only that, but the classic walker wagon is a developmental toy that babies love to push around the home!

A Baby push walker toy is such a great toy for baby! This wooden walker toy helps kids develop motor skills.

But first, let’s talk more about developmentally appropriate gross motor skills for baby and inspiring active play that also builds skills. When is a push toy appropriate…and what are the benefits of a push walker?

I love sharing resources and tools that help children accomplish developmental tasks. Kids today need more active play because there is simply less outdoor play and less creative play happening. It has been fun to share creative ways to help children achieve functional tasks, AND by providing caregivers and therapists with the resources needed.

Use a push toy to help baby develop motor skills.

Benefits of a Push Walker

A push toy can be used much earlier than the walking stage. The thing is that a push toy can be used to promote floor play. Playing on the floor helps baby build skills in coordination and visual processing skills, as well as upper body and shoulder strength and stability.

Playing with a walker toy as a baby has so many benefits in building core strength and the ability to push up onto hands and knees. When the older baby is sitting, a push walker makes a great toy because babies can move from various positions in sitting to prone as they manipulate toys. This is especially apparent with a bin type of toy like the Radio Flyer Walker Wagon toy.

Using a push toy has other benefits as well:

  • Bilateral coordination
  • Motor planning
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Wrist extension
  • Visual scanning
  • Visual attention
  • Rotation
  • Crossing midline

Baby sit to stand

So, let’s talk about using a baby push walker to help babies accomplish developmental tasks like sit to stand and coordinated first steps.

This is often times a question that new parents have for occupational therapists: When will my baby stand up? Parents also ask when baby will take their first steps.

This resource has information about baby development, including how to incorporate baby play into development of skills such as pulling to a stand and first steps.

The age range of 9-10 months, baby begins to explore their environment more and will demonstrate pulling up to a stand. This is the perfect time to incorporate a standing toy that incorporates play with sit to stand. A sit to stand toy like a push walker for baby offers the opportunity to pull up to a stand with a safe toy.

Now is the perfect time to offer baby a place to stand where they can drop toys into a bin or onto the push toy like in the walker wagon.

Baby first steps walker

In that same age range of 10-12 months, baby will begin to take their first steps as they gain coordination of the core, and lower body. They gain more coordination as they move from various positions while holding onto a surface like with a push walker.

Using a push along walker is a fantastic transition toy that allows baby to hold onto a walker handle and move from cruising on furniture to supported first steps.

Baby Push Walker

And, when baby drops toys into containers and then bends to pick them up from a push wagon, they are working on skills that transition further in their development.

Bending to squat and pushing back up to stand again as they grab items from a baby push walker’s bin allows toddlers to further develop strength and coordination.

This is all part of purposeful play!

That purposeful play builds the strength and motor planning needed for first steps without support.

Radio Flyer Walker Wagon

Would you like to think of various ways to use a push wagon in your therapy practice or at home to help kids develop motor skills? This wooden walker wagon for baby development is a push toy with benefits! The walker wagon would be a great addition to your therapy toolbox or home!

Check out the blog comments below for activity ideas to promote baby motor developmental skills. (movement for baby!)

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

102 thoughts on “Baby Push Walker for Development”

  1. I would promote tummy time on the floor as much as possible since babies do not sleep on their tummies anymore. Encourage babies on tummies to look up at toys, to reach up to touch and grab toys, etc.

  2. A great activity for babies is Tummy time and place items around them so they need to reach for them or the start to pull their bodies up to move to get to the item.

  3. I teach my parents that tummy time is not just on a flat surface, on the tummy. It can be when snuggling with a parent, lying at an incline on their chest, with the parent encouraging head extension to interact with them. Also, holding baby like a football, with their head in extension to look around the room for favored toys. Every little bit of time spent with opportunity for head extension is valuable and helpful to develop head control.

  4. I work on my daughter’s motor skills by having her practice crawling over different surfaces like pillows.

  5. I would fill it up with toys of different colors so when sitting next to it they can pick up a toy and place it outside the wagon. It will be great for eye hand coordination, vision scanning, color discrimination, visual motor and dexterity as well as trunk control.

  6. Educating families that the floor is the best place for babies and that baby seats, bouncers, and swings should be used sparingly, if at all. Placing toys that encourage movemen and exploration on the floor will provide experience that lead to increased motor development..

  7. One of my favorites is to place interactive toys on the couch to encourage sit to stand as well as climbing on the couch to promote motor planning, eye hand coordination and strengthening!

  8. This is very cool! Yes, tummy time is so important for development. I’m moving to another state and looking to move into EI. This would be amazing to have!

  9. I love this as an alternative to regular push toys. You can put items in it to weigh it down more and control the speed when they are walking, and it’s heavy work!

  10. I enjoy using tunnels for children to crawl through. They can pick up pieces to an activity (i.e. form board puzzle), crawl through the tunnel, and participate in the activity (i.e. placing the piece in the puzzle).

  11. Wish I would have had one of theses for my own kids! Benefits are so numerous and what child isn’t motivated to move! This is something that doesn’t say, ‘I’m a big scary therapy toy’. What fun!

  12. Thank you for this opportunity. I have played and worked with children for many years Soon I will be a grandmother and so looking forward to observe and facilitate development for and with my granddaughter.
    This push walker is such a great tool to encourage movement transitions, motor planning, and engagement with the environment.
    It would be a purposeful and fun tool to use with her .

  13. I love push toys and this looks wonderful. I also like to use obstacle courses or tunnels to promote crawling. So, so many benefits to crawling!

  14. Pushing laundry basket around with a sibling in it was my children’s favorite thing to do. I also like having them crawl through tunnels or if not crawling yet, tummy time activities. So many fun ideas to meet their sensory needs while in tummy time.

  15. Love this for the sensory seekers I serve! I would fill with weights or create meaningful jobs for them around the school where they could push or pull the cart to different rooms and deliver items! This would be AMAZING!

  16. Love this for the sensory seekers I serve! I would fill with weights or create meaningful jobs for them around the school where they could push or pull the cart to different rooms and deliver items! This would be AMAZING!

  17. I like to use music and movement activities such as music while lying on an incline for tummy time and looking at pinwheels , following movement of a puppet with a fingerplay, etc.

  18. Would like to try and have young students load various objects in it then push during obstacle course for heavy work activity.

  19. Crawling, climbing, tummy time, reaching for various items and toys to encourage movement and strength. Pushing the wagon could be a great option for balance and core strength.

  20. I love using suction toys on the refrigerator or a low window/mirror to promote sitting or standing depending on where the baby is in their development. Depending on the toy it can also be used to promote fine motor coordination while in sitting/standing. Love all of your ideas for using this push wagon!!

  21. What a great tool to incorporate many fun things. Like collecting items while crawling or on a scooter board!

  22. I love to do some PNF movements with babies, activities in prone on the swing or over a peanut ball. Prone over a bolster while pushing hands into a vertical mirror is great for weight bearing to build shoulder strength, encouraging cervical extension, and eye-hand coordination with reaching for various objects

  23. So many great ideas posted above! It’s great to look at each toy/activity and see all the possibilities involved for working on fine and visual motor skills (and more). With my baby, I’ve loved using board books with flaps and touch/feel element. As we read together each night he has practiced turning pages, lifting up flaps, and isolating the index finger to find and identify things on the page and feel the touch/ feel elements.

  24. I love tunnels, crawling over pillows, stacking toys/grasp and release (ball run) for squatting and standing, balls or rolling toys, using the always motivating mirror, and push carts (play shopping carts are usually a hit). I love having kiddos go around and collect toys and put them in the cart. They love it!

  25. This wagon sounds awesome to have to incorporate as heavy work. Plus, my toddler would love to push the wagon and pick up toys.

  26. I like to tape toys on the wall with painter tape and have the baby pull up to reach or squat back down. I even sometimes put pillows and cushions that need to be maneuvered around for motor planning as well as gross motor skills.

  27. Tummy time on various surfaces to challenge core strength and head control to prepare for tasks such as creeping and then walking.

  28. I love using a mirror in tummy time or making a homemade bag with water, food coloring and some oil to make a water play mat. I find that it’s so important to educate parents about tummy time, putting babies on the floor and staying away from “containers” (seats, bouncers etc) to the extent that they can, without making them feel guilty for occasional use when needed…

  29. Doing activities in prone! (Tummy time). I also love animal walks for proprioceptive input and core strngthening.

  30. I almost always work with my kiddos in prone position to play games, color, reach and grasping activities. I also love animal walks and wheelbarrow walks!

  31. I like the push walker for proprioceptive feedback and heavy work benefits. And retrieving toys for grasp and clean up of gathering toys at end of play. Love it.

  32. This push walker would be perfect for my clients in early intervention. At times my families don’t have enough resources at home so this would be wonderful for use in helping with heavy work, cleaning up, other imaginary play, etc.

  33. This would be so fun for kids to work on underlying skills in play! Putting things inside, taking things out, and pushing it is a fun activity

  34. any activity in prone with visually stimulating toys in front of the baby to promote grasping and reaching!

  35. Lay pillows out across the floor. Put a preferred toy on the other side of the pillow and encourage the child to slide, scoot, or crawl over the pillow to get the toy. The pillows can vary in sizevas the child develops.

  36. There is no greater activity than tummy time with a favorite person – parent, grandparent, (or my absolute favorite) a doting sibling 🙂

  37. This would be so helpful! I do not have anything like this for my kiddos and am constantly looking but non budget 🙁 Thank you for making this possible for teachers/ots that are in need but no funds!

  38. We love scattering puzzle pieces on the floor and crawling through a tunnel or over cushions or a crash pad to emplacement them. It builds trunk stability, grasp, and visual motor skills.

  39. I love using a wedge with babies! Great for positioning. If you use with tummy time, you can have larger toys underneath them which really helps engage older babies. Theyre also really nice for sidelying.

  40. I live any activity that incorporates tummy time and weight bearing for babies and even my older kids. For my older kids I like prone over therapy ball, prone on platform swing, scooter board, etc to build proximal stability. This would be a great resource for both my younger and older kids that are still struggling with balance and transitional skills in walking.

  41. I could so use either of these. I work for the State in early intervention. Times are tough and I provide all my toys!

  42. I love this toy and it would be great for some of my kids that have balance issues. They would love to push it around.
    Thanks!

  43. Lot’s of tummy time as well as less time in “containers” helps gross motor movement. Having a safe area for babies to play and freely move and explore is also a must!

  44. A great way to help with baby’s gross motor movement is moving toys up and down to encourage them to stand and help them practice going from sitting to standing

  45. The things our OT dept could do with this. Early motor movement is important. Tummy time and head control with hand eye coordination are important in early learning.

  46. This is my favorite push walker! It’s nice and sturdy, which makes me trust the little explorer a bit more. A game I love to incorporate with these is grocery shopping – I set a bunch of plastic foods around the room, and show baby how to walk to each one, and squat down to pick them up and plop them in the cart. Bonus points if we can throw them in!

  47. This would be a great resource for our Early Childhood classroom. They can’t use the playground equipment to help them develop their gross motor skills.

  48. How exciting! The wagon walker would entertain for hours. I can see our littles filling it with books or babies and walking around the room. This will promote large muscle movement and putting blocks in the wagon will promote small muscles. The fun will be never ending.

  49. Cute wagon.
    For infants, using a mirror in front of the child during tummy time can promote the child lifting their head which will strengthen muscles needed to improve mobility. Children are very interested in looking at them self 🙂

  50. The baby push wagon could be used in so many ways. A child could fill it up in a variety of kneeling, sitting and standing positions. The student could push it when they are beginning to walk, push it for deep pressure and proprioceptive input. The wagon could be used to take objects out also.

  51. What a motivating tool for working on gross motor development and also other areas including visual motor and sensory!

  52. One of my favorite activities is for babies to experience movement in a blanket held off the floor by 2 caregivers. Also great for babies to experience movement with us as we hold our babies. Deep pressure plus vestibular. A win!

  53. I would love to use push toy to work with some of my younger clients. I love to promote development using a therapy ball with kiddos – to build core strength, provide lots of sensory input, and facilitate protective reactions.

  54. Can add weight to the wagon to improve upper body strength and lower body strength when walking and pushing! Love it!

  55. Can add weight to the wagon to improve upper body strength and lower body strength when walking and pushing! Love it!

  56. Make a circle of books (propped open) and toys around baby when she’s in tummy time to encourage movement towards preferred toys!

  57. Having toys all around baby just outside of reach as well as up a little higher to encourage play just outside of babys base of support to continue building up core strength while sitting. Noise making ones are some of the favorites at our house. Also, around this time of year putting baby under the Christmas tree on tummy would be a fun way to increase core strength if baby is not yet sitting independently, tons of visuals to grab attention!

  58. These wagons are so great! They’re sturdy enough for little ones to pull up on every side. They’re a great way to move parents away from walkers. I like to do activities where we set up a line of things to be picked up and placed into the wagon (take a few steps, squat to pick up, return to standing, put toy in and move to the next one).

  59. Yummy time on the floor or on an inclined surface with objects around the room or mom reading a book or holding favorite toys in front of them sitting on the floor or chair to increase head and neck control, as well as VMI. Also, placing stepping stones under a padded mat to crawl or walk over to increase motor planning, coordination, balance, and strength.

  60. There are so many great ideas here! We used a blow up rolling tube with bells inside for sound. You lay across the top belly side down and can roll by pushing feet. It helps create muscle strength and balance too.

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Radio Flyer Wooden Walker Wagon Toy