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Balance – Child Development

Balance - Child Development

Balance – Child Development

Like other stages of development, babies and children have to learn how to balance and coordinate their bodies.

Gill Connell from Moving Smart NZ says that babies learn to balance through movement. When the body moves, the brain records that information and forms it’s own understanding of what it feels like to be in the out of balance. For more from Gill, read this article on the Moving Smart Blog about Developing Balance and this one about our Seven Senses.

Balancing involves spatial awareness, the vestibular system, vision and joint awareness (proprioception). If children don’t develop a good sense of balance they may have future problems with poor stamina, pencil grip and control, movement sequencing, muscle tone, speech and sensory processing.

I asked Rosemary Williams from Family Chiropractic Bundaberg what activities can help improve children’s balance and coordination skills.Rosemary suggests playing balancing games.

Individual and partner balancing games

Bending one leg changes our balance.  Try each of these positions with a bent leg. Lying on the back, stomach, sitting, hands and one foot on the ground, one foot on the ground. Switch the leg that is bent and do each position with the other leg bent.

The same balances can be done with you and your child, or your children together once they are comfortable doing the individual balances on their own. Doing balances with another person changes the perspective of the activity considerably.

Other activities that involve balancing are musical statues, walking along a line (masking tape, a long strip of ribbon or a rope can make a line).

Some additional more challenging balance activities when your child has mastered the above skills can be moving backwards and adding in eyes closed for a few seconds, slowing.

This blog has been written as one in a series of articles aimed a increasing the knowledge and skills of parents and early childhood educators within the Wide Bay Region and is part of the Moving Smart Community Project.

Angela

Angela Stedman is a working mum of two boys, Lucas 4 and Joshua 2. Angela has been working in Advertising, Business & Project Development for over 10 years and is the brains behind Wide Bay Kids and it's not-for-profit activities.

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