As parents and kindergarten/childcare teachers, we are always looking for ways to promote the development of our children. One of the more crucial aspects of this development is balance. Balancing is a fundamental motor skill that is so beneficial for our kids as it acts as a binder for all the different physical activities they engage in. On todays blog we'll explore why balance is so important for kids and why you should encourage them to participate in different balancing activities right now.
Greater Control Over Their Bodies
When children develop their balance, they begin to gain greater control over their bodies, this includes their center of gravity and spatial awareness. The ability for our kids to control their bodies and feel confident in doing so is essential for other motor skills such as running, jumping, hopping, and throwing (Just to name a few). When our children participate and start to improve their balance, they begin to develop the foundation for all these other physical activities.
2. Improved Overall Fitness and Muscle Strength
When our children participate in balancing activities they start to learn how to engage their core, legs, and ankles, resulting in stronger muscles that can help prevent injuries caused by instability. By participating in different balancing activities, children can improve their overall fitness and muscle strength, which is essential for their physical health.
3. Cognitive Development
Balancing also helps with our children's cognitive development. When children are learning how to balance, they need to problem-solve, focus, and concentrate. These mental exercises whilst participating in a physical activity can improve cognitive functions such as memory and attention span.
Now that we understand why balance is so important, let's have a look at some balancing activities that we as parents, educators or coaches can encourage children to participate in:
Walking on a Balance Beam: This is a classic balancing activity that can be easily set up in a kindergarten or backyard. Walking on a balance beam helps children develop their balance and spatial awareness.
Yoga: Yoga is an excellent activity for promoting balance and mindfulness. Many poses in yoga require balance, making it a fun way for children to improve their balance while relaxing. In addition a lot of our yoga poses require focus and concentration which as mentioned helps with the children's cognitive development
Balancing Games: There are many balancing games that can be played indoors or outdoors. For example, playing "the floor is lava" or "stuck in the mud" requires children to balance while moving, improving their balance and overall fitness.
Balance Boards: These are a great progression from our balance beams. Balance boards are an excellent tool for improving balance and muscle strength. They can be used by children of all ages and can be used indoors or outdoors.
In conclusion, by encouraging and having our children to participate in a variety of different balancing activities, we can see the numerous benefits, including improved physical health, cognitive development, and overall well-being. So, let's get our kids out balancing and promote their development in a fun and engaging way!