Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate, and you can't get outside to play. For those days, keep these fun games and toys in your back pocket. You can enjoy the indoors while helping your child improve his or her balance.
Balance Beam Fun
Use some painter's tape to mark off a "balance beam" on the floor. Run two lines of tape about three feet long and leave about half a foot in between the three feet lines of tape. Pretend this is a balance bean, and encourage your child to walk on it. Add excitement to the game by having your child hold two stuffed animals (one in each hand), balance a bean bag on his or her head, or do a small turn. Let your preschool balance beam champ do a little jump "off" the end of the "beam" with arms up in the air, just like an Olympic medalist.
Using boxes, pillows, cushions, chairs, and so forth, build a little obstacle course in your play area. This helps your child learn to gauge his or her body in relation to other objects. To add more balance challenge, create some fun "rules" such as "walk sideways through this part," or "balance a bean bag on your head through this part." Make sure they are only doing one challenge at a time, though! For example, let the balance portion be in a straight part.
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes...on a Dime!
Cut out a circle from construction paper or cardboard that is large enough for your child's feet (with some space in between). Do one for yourself too. Feel free to decorate! Place the circle on the floor and sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes." (If you need help with the lyrics, you can read them here.) The object is to stay on the circle! This activity helps your child with body part names, sequences, music, balance, and more. Giggling encouraged.
What kid doesn't like to pretend skate on tile and wood floors with socks? Not only is this fun, but it helps build balance and balance strength. Put on socks and skate around the floor with your child. Hold hands and skate together or skate separately. Do fun skate moves—whatever you can think of!
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