When babies start to move around independently – whether scooting, crawling, or walking – that independence helps them blossom, because it allows them to explore their environment more freely, go after the things they’re curious about, and learn from a broader range of experiences. When children are mobility limited, this period of exploration and activity also gets limited, and that can be frustrating for both you and your child.
That’s why groups like Go Baby Go are so important. This wonderful organization takes powered toy cars – the kind that toddlers drive themselves around in – and modifies them to make them, essentially, incredibly cool and perfectly safe power-wheelchairs for mobility limited babies, toddlers, and children. Take a look at this video to see how Go Baby Go works:
At a recent Go Baby Go workshop here in Chicago, PTN therapist Laura Vazquez worked with the family of one of her patients, Brizalyn, to modify a toy car especially for Brizalyn. Laura said, “The best moment was when we saw Brizalyn smile as she shifted herself closer to the switch, then she took off, getting ahead of her parents to explore the hallways.”
Thanks to a bit of creativity and innovation, Brizalyn was able to meet a new mobility milestone that opened up a wider world for her. We couldn’t be more excited for Brizalyn and her family!
Improving Walking Skills Through Play
If your child is mobility limited, finding ways to help her move freely without getting hurt or getting frustrated can be a tricky challenge. A pediatric physical therapist can be a big help, but there are also several things you can do at home to help your child become more mobile over time.
The first is making your own Go Baby Go modified electric car! The Go Baby Go team has provided complete instructions on how to pick a toy car, modify it, and get it inspected for safety. You can find all the details here.
If your child is capable of walking but having trouble learning, incorporating play is usually the best form of encouragement.
- Put things that she wants like colorful post-its on the wall just out of her reach, encouraging her to stretch, get up on her knees, and maybe even stand against the wall.
- Give her low, stable objects that she can push across the floor. These can include toy cars, sturdy baby doll strollers, or even flipped over hampers. Just make sure that the object won’t flip out from under her grasp and lead to a painful tumble.
- Get in a wading pool and practice taking steps in water. The water makes the activity more fun and helps give her little body extra support.
For more mobility help, give us a call any time to discuss your child’s unique needs.