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Baby obstacle course

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Moving through space

Duration/age

Duration: 
Suitable for children: 
Location: 
Skills this activity improves: 
Baby girl lying on a pillow

If your baby has started to crawl, this game will challenge them and introduce them to lots of textures.

Lay out a course using things from around your home. You can use things like different textured bathmats, some cushions to crawl over, a large box to crawl through, a footstool to crawl around or an old shower curtain or fluffy blanket to crawl on.

Encourage your baby to crawl around the obstacle course and talk to them about what they are doing.

Does that feel bumpy? Go over the cushions. You are going under the table. There you are!

Don’t worry if your baby decides to go around the obstacles or crawls away. Wherever they go, they are still exploring. Just try again another day. You could also try using their favourite toys to get them to crawl over the cushions or through the box.

Materials you will need

  • Bathmats
  • Cushions
  • A large box
  • An old shower curtain or fluffy blanket

Alternative tools

  • Towel
  • Chair
  • Textured material

Why does this matter?

As your baby crawls they are learning how to use and coordinate their big muscles. These big muscles are also called gross muscles.

As they go over, under, behind or around they are learning about space and how they can move their body in that space.

What does this lead to?

Gross motor strength and coordination is important for children later when they learn to write.

Spatial awareness will lead to babies and children being able to move safely around their environment. Knowing concepts such as on, behind or next to helps them to describe and locate things.

Language to use

  • On, over, under
  • Next to
  • Behind
  • In, out
  • Soft, bumpy, smooth, rough, fluffy

Questions to use

  • Where are you going next?
  • Peekaboo - where are you?

Useful tips

  1. To keep your baby on the obstacle course try setting it up between the couch and the wall.
  2. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

More ideas

As your baby gets more skilled you can make the obstacle course longer and trickier.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • Try putting a towel or sheet over the obstacles. You could hide your child’s favourite soft toys under the towel as well. Can your baby guess what is under there?

Questions to ask

  • What’s that? What can you feel?