acepuppets

Learning Balance and Coordination

Posted on: October 24, 2014


Balance and coordination, like all of the skills children and adults have, need to be learnt. There is, by the time a toddler is toddling, a certain amount of the two that comes naturally to them but they need to be developed and practised.  So, what are balance and coordination? Well, in simple terms BALANCE is the ability to control the body and keep it in the desired position both when standing still and when moving. COORDINATION is the skill of using different parts of the body together, smoothly and effectively.

One of the best places for children to improve on these skills is in the playground. If you do have children you will hear time and time again that playtime is so important in a child’s development as it requires a lot of different skills whether they be physical, like balance, social, cognitive or emotional. Playgrounds are full of different equipment that tests them in different ways. Specific playground equipment that will get their balance and coordination skills working hard are things like a wobbly bridge or a balance beam.  But you don’t necessarily need a playground to practise; any activity that involves running, jumping, hopping or skipping will help to improve muscle and core strength and therefore balance. For slightly older and more advanced children riding a bike is of course a great achievement in balance and coordination. Even things as simple as walking around on different levelled surfaces will test balance and help encourage correct posture.

ART_elephantbalancing

Do remember though that all children develop at different rates and these skills are ones that are developed gradually and continue to develop up until around the age of 16. For some it may take longer than others but quality playground time will make sure everyone is developing and also having fun!

Here’s a handy list of simple activities that will help improve balance and coordination.

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