There are many uses for balance boards but I thought I would share some of the ways we have used it.
- I had a few kids who were having trouble squatting. They didn’t want to bend their knees and preferred to just bend forward at the hips. By putting them on a balance board and making the surface just a little unstable, they needed to adjust their movements to maintain their stability and it encouraged them to bend their knees even more.
- I have found that a lot of kids spend time moving forward and backwards so their system is used to changes in this direction but side to side is not as common of a movement and often needs more practice for the body to anticipate how it needs to react in order to maintain stability. By having kids stand on the balance board (as seen in the video) and perform activities where they need to reach in different directions, they are taking in a ton of input as to what happens when they move in each way and letting their body figure out how to react. With enough exposure they become much more efficient at maintaining stability and the process becomes unconscious and lets them concentrate on having fun!
- For kids who like to keep their weight on their heels, they have challenges when their weight is shifted forwards. Because their center of gravity is sitting towards their back, their balance reactions kick in faster than they should when they begin to move their weight forward on their toes. By having a kiddo on the balance board so that it rocks forward and backwards you can work on having them shift their weight forward in a similar way to what is shown in the video and have them get used to having their center of gravity in a more forward position.
How do you use balance boards?