Mother & Baby (Australia) - - First Steps -

1 Go on a sur­face sa­fari

At this stage, walk­ing in a va­ri­ety of places lets him re­fine his hard-won skills. “En­coun­ter­ing dif­fer­ent sur­faces means your baby is learn­ing how to use his body in dif­fer­ent ways, using dif­fer­ent mus­cles and be­com­ing more flex­i­ble,” says Karen. “Soft-play cen­tres are great, and take him walk­ing in the park or in a sand­pit.” Have a bare­foot sa­fari in­doors and see how many dif­fer­ent sur­faces you can find.

2 Have a dance-off

Danc­ing to­gether is fun! Put on your favourite tracks and move like a tree, a cat, an ele­phant, a train, a Tele­tubby… This will en­cour­age your child to move his body in dif­fer­ent ways, work­ing dif­fer­ent mus­cle groups and im­prov­ing his bal­ance.

3 Fill the bucket

Put an empty tub or bucket in the mid­dle of the room and scat­ter balls and soft toys around it. Pick up the items and drop them in the bucket, one by one – your baby will quickly get the hang of the game. “This game prac­tises walk­ing, bend­ing, turn­ing and stop­ping,” says Karen. “As his walk­ing skills im­prove, put the things he needs to col­lect fur­ther away, so he’s trav­el­ling a greater dis­tance.”

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