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While some babies go from immobility to walking like it’s nothing, others take a bit longer to progress. It’s usually somewhere between the six and ten month mark when they start to express interest in movement and they begin with a form of creeping that progresses to bum scooting, shuffling, wriggling, and/or crawling. Crawling helps build baby’s shoulder, neck, hip, and abdominal strength, enhance visual skills, and develop coordination.
However your baby learns to move, appropriate activity and play is important for encouragement and strength. Parents can place favorite toys and objects out of baby’s reach to encourage them to crawl or move towards it, place cushions or other obstacles around the room to promote baby’s ability to navigate. These activities promote and improve speed, agility, and dexterity.
Below are some great options for parents wondering what are the best toys for crawling babies.
- Best Toys for Crawling Babies: Our Top Pick
- Best Toys for Crawling Babies for Sensory Play
- Best Toys for Crawling Babies for Shape Recognition
- Best Toys for Crawling Babies: Classic and Simple Toys
- Best Toys for Crawling Babies: Musical Toys
- Final thoughts
Best Toys for Crawling Babies: Our Top Pick
Melissa & Doug is a trusted name in children’s educational toys, and this item is both practical and fun. Sturdy and easy to clean, this caterpillar tunnel provides a colorful space for your little crawler to explore. Not only does it encourage babies to crawl through and discover a new space, it helps to develop problem-solving skills as they wonder how they’ll make it to the end.
Also recommended in our list of best toys for 2-year-old girls!
- Made by a well-known producer of quality-made, educational toys
- Great for indoor or outdoor use; easily portable
- Can entertain babies, toddlers, and preschoolers alike
Best Toys for Crawling Babies for Sensory Play
The stacking rings of your own childhood will seem boring compared to this multicolored, multi-patterned set where each ring has a distinct texture and weight. Each ring is also numbered so baby can learn number skills during playtime. One clear ring has tiny balls inside that allows baby to shake and hear new sounds, plus watch the colored balls as they move around. This is another item with an incredibly low pricetag when compared to the value for fun and education.
- Helps develop hand-eye coordination and strengthens fine motor skills
- Center of each ring is the same size, so baby doesn’t get frustrated
- Meets stringent safety standards, including BPA-free construction
Balls are a baby’s best friend. There are dozens of ways to play with a ball, including rolling, throwing, bouncing, knocking things over, hiding them in compartments or around the room, etc. If the ball rolls away, your baby will feel compelled to chase after it, which means crawling and movement are practiced and encouraged. Because balls are often rolled and tossed back and forth between people, these fun toys can even strengthen your baby’s social skills as they interact with others.
- The “nubs” or bumps make them easy for baby to grasp
- Bright colors capture baby’s attention and make them easy to find
- Develops dexterity, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social skills, etc.
Best Toys for Crawling Babies for Shape Recognition
Once your baby begins to crawl, they’ll want to be moving around all the time. The bottoms of these foam shapes have a no-slip layer, plus the covers are soft, durable, and easy to wipe clean. They’re so durable, in fact, that mom and dad can climb all over them alongside baby.
Also recommended in our list of best indoor toys for active toddlers!
- Large, soft blocks and shapes provide a safe, fun climbing and crawling environment
- Made with vegan leather
- Promotes lifting, stacking, and carrying to enhance gross motor skill development
Playskool is a giant in the baby toy industry, and this shape-sorting cube has been a family favorite for many years. Although the description says it’s intended for ages 18 months and up, the pieces are too large to be swallowed and your busy baby will have no problem crawling to the other side of the room to find the extra pieces they need to fit in each shape’s spot.
- Encourages problem-solving, shape-sorting, and matching skills
- Shapes fit inside the cube for easy cleanup and storage
- Different sides of shapes have different textures, offering more tactile sensations for your baby to explore
Something as simple as colorful, stackable cups can provide your mobile baby with surprising learning opportunities. They can also be used for more than just stacking and counting. As your baby grows, they can use these cups for kitchen play, storing and carrying smaller toys, tea parties, and more. Especially for the minuscule price, these nesting cups are a great investment.
- Encourages hand-eye coordination and object permanence
- Tiny holes make them fun for bath time and water play
- Numbers on the bottom help with early number recognition and makes organizing easy
Best Toys for Crawling Babies: Classic and Simple Toys
Any toy that moves will encourage baby to follow behind and chase it, therefore, a moving car like this is great for encouraging your child to move forward, whether it be crawling, scooching, or even just rolling along after it. The car only needs a slight pull-back before it zooms across the floor, so baby won’t have to work hard to make it move. Plus, the multicolored beads inside the car make a fun popping sound as the car moves.
- Textured wheels are great for tactile exploration
- Small enough to throw into a diaper bag and take anywhere
- The pull-back mechanism helps baby’s cause-and-effect skill development
A mirror is such a simple concept, but its value for baby’s entertainment, and development of visual, self-awareness and even language skills, are immeasurable. The triangular design of this one makes it great for positioning almost anywhere: on the floor for tummy time, on a highchair tray while baby is seated, on baby’s lap in a car seat, and many other options. Plus, it folds flat for easy storage and transport.
- Not made with a true glass mirror, making it safe for babies
- Helps develop baby’s visual, self-awareness, and even language skills
- Crinkly leaves are colorful and make fun sounds, offering visual, tactile, and auditory stimulation
This is such a simple concept and yet such a fun toy for your little crawler. It’s simply a few brightly colored silicone bubbles that your child can pop in and out. They’ll love the smooth feel of the silicone, the fun, easy recognizable colors, and the cute popping sound the bubbles make as the air pocket moves from one side to the other. The silicone is food-grade, so teething toddlers can safely explore the toy with their mouths too.
- Engages the senses, including sight, touch, sound
- Promotes fine motor skills development
- No complicated buttons, batteries, or assembly required
Best Toys for Crawling Babies: Musical Toys
While some music and activity tables are busy and can overstimulate your baby, this version is clean-looking but still provides plenty of play options. The five visible activities include a bead maze, building blocks, magnetic fishing game, a shape puzzle, twisting gears, and a beautiful xylophone. Babies in the crawling phase may not fully understand these activities at first, but they’ll enjoy playing with all the moving pieces and can continue to enjoy this table for several years.
- Wooden (smooth and splinter-free) construction is much more environmentally-friendly than plastic
- Bright, beautiful non-toxic paint colors will easily capture baby’s attention
- Acts as a sensory board while developing hand-eye coordination, critical thinking, shape recognition, etc.
There are many reasons why music and instruments are great learning tools for babies. They help babies to recognize patterns in speech, develop both gross and fine motor skills, and can slow down the heart rate, which obviously helps to keep them calm. Beyond that, babies simply love to dance and sing! Singing and making music creates an important bond with your baby. These baby-safe instruments will have your little one crawling across the room in no time so they can make music with you.
- Receive all of the learning benefits music provides
- Singing and making music creates an important bond with your baby
- Moving and dancing in sync to the music with others can promote healthy social bonding
Playtime is the best time to encourage your baby to move around. Encouraging movement during play will help with muscle strengthening, fine and gross motor development, and even socialization skills. Parents and family members who play with their baby are also simultaneously facilitating learning experiences and healthy brain development. Therefore, using the above-listed toys to play with a crawling baby or one who is learning to crawl is important for healthy development.
Playing means that baby is happy and learning. Learning means their minds are growing. Growing minds go hand-in-hand with growing bodies. Parents who facilitate these steps and activities are ensuring their baby is healthy and happy. Playtime is growing time!