Stages of Development

Once babies can control their body in a standing position they may then attempt to walk. Babies will progress from walking with support to walking with arms held up and legs wide with an irregular gait and lots of stumbles and falls.  Walking can start at 8 months or at 18 months.

Teaching tips

As babies move from cruising to walking, encouragement and assistance and the presence of appropriately sized furniture to hold onto can encourage the development of walking.

Exploring Walking

Encourage attempts to walk independently. Place toys around the room and up high to walk to and reach up for. Join in songs and movement activities.

Ask the child:

  • Can you walk to me?
  • Can you stomp your feet?
  • Lets walk together to the table
  • Can you push the wagon?
  • Can you find the teddy?

Create safe spaces for attempting to walk with lots of stimulating materials and regular interactions. Try some of the ideas below to encourage children to have fun exploring and developing the skill of walking:

  • Have plenty of push and pull toys available e.g. trolleys, prams, wagons, boxes, balls
  • Provide the opportunity to walk on lots of different surfaces, e.g., grass, slopes, footpaths, pillows and sand
  • Provide wands with ribbons attached
  • Set-up objects to move over or climb through and around – try tunnels, boxes, carpet squares, tyres, wood stumps, logs and planks, climbing frames, ladders and stepping stones
  • Soft, small steps to walk up and down
  • Provide wands with ribbons attached
  • Set up your environment to encourage squatting, standing up and reaching high. Try standing play tables and musical chimes or bells to reach up to.

As babies become mobile, make sure the environment is safe and very small objects are out of reach

Try introducing some of KIDDO’s engaging and age appropriate activities to encourage walkers:

  1. Can you copy my moves in Mirror Mirror
  2. Dance around to music and play Still as a Statue
  3. Try walking like different animals in the Animal Walks activity
  4. Set up lots of different movement stations to explore
  5. Walk around picking up the balls with a game of Clean up the Rubbish

Babies will progress through the following stages as they learn to walk:

  • Walking with support
  • Walk with handholds
  • Walk holding one hand
  • Walks along with hands held high
  • Walks along with hands low

The beginner walker will have arms up, legs wide, feet pointed in or out, toes curled and lots of stumbles and falls

As walking develops the speed of walking will increase, feet will start pointing straight ahead and the length of each step becomes regular and smooth.

Toddlers will then start experimenting with walking sideways, backward and on tiptoes.

More walking activities

Head and neck control, Balancing, Running, Jumping, Catching, Walking, Crawling, Standing, Grasping
children moving
Running, Jumping, Hopping, Walking, Galloping