One of the most fundamental skills that your child needs to learn is how to balance. Balance is crucial for many activities in life, forming the basis of even the simplest of things, such as walking.
That being said, kids don’t always have the best balance, especially when they are young. However, there are various balance activities for your children to do. These aren’t overly special or complicated, but they will help improve your child’s balance.
Before talking about various balance activities for kids, I want to discuss some of their benefits.
- The Benefits of Balance Activities For Kids
- The Best Balance Activities for Kids
The Benefits of Balance Activities For Kids
You may wonder why balance activities are essential for kids to engage in. Balance has to do with body awareness or awareness of where your limbs are in space. This is also known as proprioception. So, balance training improves body awareness, which decreases the likelihood of suffering injuries.
Balance is also crucial for joint stability. It helps create stable ankles, hips, shoulders, and knees and can help prevent various injuries. For kids, balance training is important for developing coordination.
Moreover, balance is vital in reaction time. How fast you can react will determine whether you actually go down when you slip or fall. So a fast reaction time is also crucial for more reasons than just catching yourself when you slip.
Balance training is especially important as we age because our balance starts to deteriorate; however, the more we train it, the more we can stop it from deteriorating.
The Best Balance Activities for Kids
I now want to go over some of the best balance activities for kids. These are activities that I did with my own kids, and yes, I did see some huge improvements!
Walking a Tightrope
One great balance exercise for kids is walking a tightrope. Of course, I’m not talking about starting your child off in Cirque du Soleil at four years old. Instead, you can use something like a low balance beam to the ground. You can even tape a line on the floor.
Your child can walk on the balance beam or on the line for as long as possible. Then, you want them to take heel-to-toe steps with their arms outstretched. As your child’s balance gets better, you can increase the challenge.
Make an Obstacle Course
Another thing that will help improve your child’s balance is an obstacle course. This obstacle course’s complexity and difficulty should depend on your child’s age.
You can start with small objects they have to walk around and over and then slowly move up to larger things. You can increase the difficulty as your child progresses.
Being forced to step over things and balance on them will challenge their balance skills. Moreover, this is a cool activity for children’s parties. I often set up obstacle courses, and children love taking turns to see who can complete them the fastest.
Walking Like a Monster
Monster walking is a very popular exercise for kids. Take various pillows and other soft objects and place them all over the floor. Your child should pretend these pillows and other things are friendly monsters they have to walk across.
Having to walk across soft and thick objects will encourage your child to use their torso and their arms to balance as they walk across these objects. It’s also a fun game to play with toddlers.
Bunny Hopping and One-Legged Bunny Hopping
Another excellent balance training activity for kids is bunny hopping. Here, have your children place their feet together and then hop around. This will help them develop balance when they land.
Next, as they improve their balance, they can do one-legged bunny hops; they will stand on one foot and then hop forward in a straight line. This helps develop their balance and coordination.
Balancing on one foot is quite difficult, so it’s a great way to develop balance. You can then have your child hop backward or even side to side.
Crab walking is when you sit on the floor with your legs in front of you and your arms behind you. Bend your knees, so your feet are flat on the floor; raise your hips and walk like a grab.
This exercise is excellent for balance, but also more. It requires your children to use both their arms and legs to walk sideways or forwards. Crab walking also involves alternating arm and leg movements, which helps improve bilateral coordination, strength, and overall balance.
This is another children’s birthday party game − crab walking races. Not only will this challenge everybody’s balance, but it’s a good deal of fun.
Another great balance exercise for kids is leg lifting. First, your child will stand sideways behind a chair that they’ll hold onto. Next, they’ll lift their leg at a 90-degree angle and keep it in the air for around 10 seconds.
Of course, this is a beginner balance exercise, but it can be made harder. You can remove the chair and have your child stand without it. Raising a leg sideways is fairly difficult without any support.
The next great way for your child to practice balance skills is to dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to build balancing skills, especially with some of the more complex types of dancing.
Your child will have to memorize and use the movements for their feet and remain balanced while doing so.
Dancing also has other benefits, including improving coordination, strength, speed, etc. At the very least, teaching your child to dance will allow them to feel free in their bodies to express themselves through movement.
Skateboarding is another activity that requires balance. It might not be the first thing you want to get your child to do as it can be somewhat dangerous; therefore, helmets, pads, and other types of protection are recommended.
However, skateboarding requires a good deal of balance. Your child has to use both feet to balance on the skateboard and then maintain their balance while removing one foot from the board to push themselves forward on the ground.
To step things up a bit, once your child has mastered riding a skateboard, you can then get them to start doing some tricks. Simply put, a lot of kids love skateboarding.
Riding a Bike
One thing we learned to do as a child was riding a bike. As a balancing activity, riding a bike is perhaps one of the best. A bicycle has two wheels, which will force your child to either balance or fall over.
Moreover, cycling is an excellent form of exercise. It’s something that will help your child burn calories and energy.
It’s also something that could help increase stamina and muscle strength. I love cycling and going on bike rides with my kids. This isn’t only for the health benefits but also for the mental benefits.
One of my favorite games as a child was Twister. This is also something my children love playing. Twister is a game where there is a large pad on the ground with circles of four different colors.
Players spin a spinner which indicates which arm or foot to place on which colored circle. This can be a challenging game, depending on the combination of colors and limbs that you land on. However, it’s a great way to practice balance, and it’s a lot of fun.
Jump rope is yet another simple and fun way for your child to work on their balance. Jump rope has your child jumping up and down and landing with both feet. Every time your child lands, they have to balance. If you want to increase the challenge, you can get them to skip rope on one foot.
Many different motions can be done when skipping rope which improves balance. In addition, skip rope is an excellent form of exercise for stamina and burning calories.
Another activity to develop balance is picking up things with your toes. You can place various small objects on the ground and get your child to pick them up with their toes.
This is a great way to challenge their balance, as well as their dexterity. You could also turn this into some kind of challenge.
Although running is not the top balance exercise, it will undoubtedly help. When your child runs, they have only one foot on the ground at a time.
Therefore, good balance is required. Also, running is an excellent exercise. It will help your child burn calories and energy, build muscle strength, and increase stamina.
Skiing or Snowboarding
Some people say that skiing or snowboarding aren’t balance exercises per se, but I think they are. Obviously, snowboarding and skiing or not things that you can do at home; you’re going to have to go to a ski hill or mountain for this.
However, skiing and snowboarding, especially snowboarding, are great for improving balance. Your child must stay upright while riding over bumps and divots while going downhill at significant speeds. In fact, this might just be one of the best ways to train balance in general.
If your child is good at skiing or snowboarding, you can also increase the challenge by getting them to hit ramps and obstacles. Flying through the air and having to land on their feet will challenge their balance. Just be sure they wear a helmet!
Side Planks, Pushups, and More
Your child can do various simple bodyweight exercises to increase their balancing capabilities, like pushups and side planks. These exercises have your child balancing, and they’re also great for improving overall core strength, as well as muscle strength
These are the 15 best balance exercises for kids to improve balance, most of which I have gotten my own kids to do. I have to say that I think that my children’s balancing capabilities have significantly improved thanks to these exercises.