Building your child’s balance allows a child to move confidently, explore playground equipment, climb, develop hand-eye coordination skills and ride a bike.
Developing these skills are very important. They allow a child to feel confident in social encounters and they help a child stay healthy by building interest and enthusiasm in sports.
Parents can do many different things to help build their child’s balance skills. Take a read of our list of easy, accessible and family friendly balance building activities.
1. Trampoline games
Ask your child to sit cross-legged on a trampoline with their hands on their knees. Gently bounce the trampoline so that your child needs to react to maintain their position. This could also be done when kneeling with hands and feet on the trampoline or upright. This also builds core body strength, important for posture.
Mix it up by adding a game of tug-of-war on the trampoline or consider trying a fun pillow fight.
On a hot day you could try filling up a water balloon with water and play a game of catch while sitting or sanding on the trampoline. This will build balance and hand-eye coordination. Just watch out with the water balloon because if you drop it you’ll be soaking wet!
2. Ball balance
Ask your child to sit on a big beach ball, or maybe a big inflated yoga ball. As they find their balance grab a hold of their hands. Gently tug your child’s arms from side to side so that they have to react to stay sitting on the ball. They’ll have to use their core strength, balance and posture to stay upright.
3. Balance the balloon
A number of household items can be used to help in building your child’s balance. You can use a balloon, beach ball or even inflatable yoga ball for this one. Ask your child to lie on their back on the floor. Get them to stretch out their arms and legs. Place a balloon or ball in between their legs and arms and get them to keep a balloon up in the air using their hands, feet, elbows, knees, etc. If the balloon falls on the ground help them to reset.
4. Obstacle Course
Building your child’s balance can involve imagination as well. Ask your child to crawl with their stomach on the floor like a commando. Make an obstacle course to crawl around, under a table, through a box, over a stack of cushions and around a pile of books. You can create tunnels with sheets and towels hung between chairs. Here are some easy obstacle course ideas.
5. Kids yoga
Downward dog, cat-cow pose, cobra, eagle, there are so many animal names for yoga positions and they might get your kid’s imagination working overtime. Some light yoga is a perfect way to help in building your child’s balance and strength.
For a simplified cat-cow pose ask your child to copy an angry cat. Ask them to get down on their hands and knees, pushing their back upwards to form an arch, tucking their chin to their chest. Add some fun by asking them to hiss like a cat. Next, while staying on all fours, get them to bend their back, dropping their belly towards the floor. You could also ask your child to pretend to be a dog and wag their tail, moving their hips from side to side.
For some funny parent-child bonding try doing some kiddie friendly yoga. There are many videos on Youtube that you can both follow along with.