We had a request for more dynamic balance activities. Here are a few that focus on standing. They are all similar but can all be modified to make them easier or harder. In addition the activity changes slightly so you can adapt it based on what motivates your child. We are just hoping to spark your creativity so you can apply to the kids you work with. In fact as we were doing these we also thought of ways to work on sitting balance as well. Those ideas will come out later this week!
- Bean bags: You can do this by placing a bean bag on the top of the child’s foot. Have them try to lift their foot up to reach for the bean bag and then toss it at a target. If they aren’t able to reach all the way to their foot then they can lift their foot up so you can take the bean bag from their foot, or they can try to toss it off their foot at a target. We used a tic tac toe board but you can use spots or make tape designs on the floor or a bean bag toss board, etc.
- Ring Toss: Very similar to above you can use rings from a ring toss or pool rings. Similar ideas but you can also vary this by having them reach their foot out so you can put the ring on it. You can also move the ring base around and have them place it on instead of having them toss it. When they do this you can encourage reaching outside their base of support. You could go up high or down low or cross body or diagonal.
- Stickers: Again, very similar to above but if you put stickers on the foot, they can then place them on paper to create a picture. You can vary where the paper is placed so they have to reach outside their base of support.
You can adjust all of these activities to make them easier or more challenging. To make it easier you can have the child hold onto support. You can make the support really stable or less stable (chair back vs hula hoop held by someone else). You can also change the surface they are standing on. You can use an airex pad, a trampoline, a pillow, or you can go to uneven terrain such as grass or sand.
We will keep working on more dynamic balance activities. What are some of your favorites?