Lately I feel like most activities or events out there are not great for crawling babies that don’t walk yet. But with a little creativity, you can keep your crawling little ones busy, entertained, and having lots of fun without breaking the bank for parents!
My rambunctious little one is not yet walking. She is more in the speed crawling stage. She can stand, climb onto the couch and go up/down stairs. But no walking yet.
After a bit of research, some trial and error, and a little creativity, here are our favorite crawling-baby activities that are simple, fun and 100% baby approved.
13 Activities for Crawling (not yet walking) Babies
- Tupperware party
Not exactly what it sounds like. Basically we designated a cupboard that is just for the baby. I fill it up with plastic Tupperware, empty cereal boxes, and egg cartons. Instead of baby proofing this cupboard, we leave it open for her to explore, unpack, repack, organize or just play with everything inside.
Poppy loves taking out every last Tupperware and throwing them everywhere. And I feel good knowing, she can’t hurt herself or break anything. The only thing to watch out for is baby jamming their little fingers when closing the door or drawer.
Inside or out, picnics are so fun. This summer we have done picnics in nearby parks, in our yard, or even in the basement. Grab a big soft blanket and pack either baby snacks or an actual meal. Bring some toys and let baby crawl and eat. Here are some of my favorite picnics so far:
- Watermelon and swings – Packed up the stroller with a blanket, watermelon, a few toys, water and some wash cloths. Then headed to the park to enjoy some swing time followed by a fun picnic eating watermelon with baby. I let baby eat her own watermelon, get insanely messy and have fun with it. This is an easy way to picnic without the need to make any food.
- Lunch at the park –I packed up her lunch (chicken, roasted veggies and a muffin) and my lunch (mediterranean quinoa salad) to eat at the park. With some fun toys, music from my phone and bubbles on hand, it was a great way to enjoy a beautiful summer day.
- Popsicles and water buckets – Instead of going anywhere, we had a fun picnic in the yard. At this picnic, it was all about homemade popsicles (I like to freeze healthy smoothies) and water splashing. I filled 1 bucket and 1 large stockpot with water, brought some bath toys and let baby splash away! A kid water table works great here too but we don’t have one.
- Indoor picnic – Breakfast picnic in our basement! Homemade waffles, lots of pillows to crawl over and wooden toy blocks made this a fun indoor activity for all of us 🙂
- Swings and slides with mama and dada
Since baby is not mobile enough to climb up the playgrounds, the swings are the best things. Try the diaper looking swings for little kids and watch them have a blast.
Even though my crawling baby can’t do the slides by herself, doing them with her sitting on my lap is a blast for both of us! Climbing up and down the playground is a workout too… so that’s an added bonus.
- Obstacle course
This has become one of our favorite things at home. We find the room with the most amount of floor space, for us that’s the basement. Then, we set up obstacles for crawling baby. An awesome tunnel, giant pillows, big boxes, toy walkers or cars, balls and blocks. A mattress on the floor is even great so that baby can climb and bounce on it. Let your kid explore! Chase them and show them how to go through tunnels, over pillows, destroy block towers and just roam around.
Add on some fun music and you will have enough entertainment to tire both you and your kid out!
- The view from above
My husband has always carried Poppy on his shoulders and she loves it. The view and perspective from above is so different for them that they will have a blast. Bounce up and down, take them outside to look at trees, or even stare out the window. This may not be an all-day activity but it is a fun change of pace when your kid needs to be distracted.
- I’m gonna get you
This is a classic. Poppy’s grandma plays this with her a ton and she LOVES it. Teach baby how to crawl away from you when you say “I’m gonna get you.” The anticipation of us even saying that to Poppy makes her SO EXCITED! She starts laughing and crawling away instantly. This is one of those games you can play anywhere, for however long they are engaged, and with anyone.
- Art project
Our 13 month old is still trying to understand how to draw and paint on her own, but this is a fun introduction. My recommendation is to try to do it either outside or inside on an old large blanket or towel you do not care about.
I like using kid safe paint from Michaels or Target. Then just grab some paper and have fun! Maybe get baby down to their diapers, to make sure they do not stain their clothing.
This is such a fun gift to give to friends and family. Staple a recent photo of the baby to the art piece and gift away. It make the perfect desk or refrigerator décor.
This is one of the simplest activities to do. Just buy some bubbles at Target, the Dollar Store, or make some! Then have fun with your little one. Inside, outside, anywhere! I love watching Poppy chase the bubbles and try to grab them. So much bubble fun!
9. Play catch
This is an easy fun game that will start teaching baby hand eye coordination too! Sit baby on the floor in front of you and roll a ball over to them. Then encourage them to pick it up and throw it back to you. It might take a few tries, but eventually baby will start throwing the ball. Not necessarily right at you, but that is all part of the fun and they will keep improving their directional skills over time.
As for the type of ball, try to play with one that they can hold in one hand. We love Infantino Textured Multi-Ball Set because baby Poppy can hold them, discover new textures and she loves the bring colors. Added bonus to these balls, is they have a little hole in them, so they are a fun bath-time toy too! Fill them up with water and then squeeze them to shoot water out (this is the hubs’ favorite bath-time game with baby).
10. Pool time
This can mean 2 things. Either a real pool or a kiddie pool! In the winter Poppy took swimming lessons at a pool. But right now in the heat of the summer, we have been enjoying a backyard kiddie pool instead.
For $9 dollars this is such a fun summer activity. If you have a small yard, simply fill up the pool with water, change into bathing suits and have fun with your little one*. We love dumping in lots of bath toys and playing with Poppy.
Since it is a small pool only 1 adult fits with the baby. The nice thing is the other adult gets to sit on a lawn chair sipping on a fruity summer drink, listening to music and enjoying fun baby giggles. Win win!
*Do not leave baby unattended in pool.
This is such a basic toy that provides endless fun. For only $9 dollars, your crawling kiddo can let their imagination run wild with wooden blocks. Poppy loves to dump them all out and then throw them everywhere. Or knock down block towers I make for her. Or play a game of catch with Dada using the blocks as a ball.
And the bonus is that as your kid gets older they can learn how to build towers with the blocks and use them in different ways.
12. Unpacking treasures
Pack up a large cardboard box, purse, reusable box or suitcase with goodies. I like to fill up a toy box or large purse with balls, wooden spoons, egg cartons, plastic dishes, empty water bottles, books, bells, scarves, stuffed animals, you name it. Then close it or lightly lay the lid on top and let your kid explore the box or bag on their own.
Watch them learn how to open it, and unpack the many treasures you hid for them.
13. Local library
When you need to get out of the house and let baby blow off some steam, take your little crawler to the local library. The majority of libraries have very kid-friendly sections. Normally carpeted with lots of toys, activities and books available. I love going to our local library and letting baby Poppy crawl, pull out all the books she wants, and wear herself out exploring.
Before you leave, don’t forget to check for kid-friendly library events like storytimes, activities, puppet shows, etc. And give yourself a little extra time to check out a book or two for you. YOU DESERVE IT.