Life is a balance! This saying is so true because balance is an extremely important life skill overall. Whether you’re playing ‘the floor is lava’ or just sitting up straight at a desk, balance is needed to execute these tasks successfully. Balance is so useful, in fact, that certain aspects of life become challenging when balance is poor. We discuss how to get your little one to become a super balance kid!
Why Balance Matters
Great balance abilities entail being able to maintain control over the body whether it is in motion or stationary. It can help kids in more ways than one. When kids perform this skill well, it is an indicator that they can maintain good posture and that they have awesome muscular strength. Balance also requires core strength, which helps the body function better as a whole. You can also count on balance to promote better body awareness, hand-eye coordination, and coordination of the body. It’s really a huge building block for activity enjoyment.
Problems with Balance in Kids
If balancing troubles exist, you’ll want to be sure you know what to look out for in your little one. Physically, you may notice stiffness, limp appearance, slouching, or lacking fluidity with movements. Kids with trouble balancing may avoid physical activity, struggle with fine motor skills and self-care skills (i.e. getting dressed), and have poor self-esteem. With these signs in mind, seeing a physical therapist can go a long way to helping your little one improve and sharpen their skills. A physical therapist can give personalized guidance and exercises that will help your child in the long term. You’ll also want to set aside time every day to move the body and explore. Everything is connected. If your muscles are stronger, balance is easier to achieve. Get off the couch and move!
Kids Activities for Balance
Is your child balancing in a masterful manner? They must be having some fun along the way! It’s totally possible to sharpen these skills with a variety of balance games for kids. This provides a means for practice one step at a time! Here are our suggestions:
Set the scene with a balance beam (the plank). Place some coins at the end of the beam. When someone in the family answers a question correctly, they can walk the plank. Careful though. When squatting down to grab the coins, you can’t lose your balance either or you’ll lose your coin. Feel free to dress up as pirates too. Argh!
An outdoor obstacle course is a fun activity to try when it’s not too hot or rainy. Opt for a variety of track changes that encourages your kiddo to walk a straight line, hop, and maybe even crawl during some portions. They might want to run this obstacle course over and over again.
The Floor is Lava!
Most of us have heard of this game, but it’s also great for balance practice. Set out an obstacle course in the home with pillows, blankets, and whatever else would be safe to stand on. When you announce “the floor is lava!” players must get off the floor in five seconds’ time. Set pillows and blankets up in a way where they may need to balance or stand on their tiptoes. When you announce “the floor is not lava” players can go back walking about, but they cannot choose the same spot to stand when the floor becomes lava again. If you play this game, be sure to set places off-limits in advance. Chairs or tables that are not stable would be dangerous, so opt for areas that won’t cause any injuries.
What zany poses can you make once the music comes to a stop? This would be a great balancing game for a toddler or school-aged kiddo. The funnier the pose, the better! If you can take a picture with your kiddo in that silly dance pose, then they landed the pose successfully. Keep playing those beats… and stopping them too!
Back to the Basics
Bike riding, hop-scotch, and jump rope are all classics that many of us knew and loved growing up. It turns out, these activities were helping us round out skills. These would be awesome balance activities for toddlers too. Most ages are acceptable, but modify to make it easier when necessary. You may want to jump in on the fun!
If you notice your little one struggling when it comes to balancing, you’ll want to give us a call today. Our team is professional, friendly, and ready to help.