06 Oct Motor Development: Balancing
Balance is the ability to maintain a controlled body position during task performance, whether it is sitting at a table, walking the balance beam or stepping up onto a curb. Balance is a significant component of child development. Children must learn to balance before they can progress to higher level gross motor skills like running, hopping, galloping or skipping.
To function effectively across environments and tasks, we need the ability to maintain controlled positions during both static (still) and dynamic (moving) activities.
Static balance is the ability to hold a stationary position with control (i.e. “Freeze” or “statue” games). Dynamic balance is the ability to remain balanced while engaged in movement (i.e. running or bike riding).
Why is balance important?
Age appropriate balance allows the child to be involved in the sports participation with a reasonable degree of success as it aids fluid body movement for physical skill performance (i.e. walking a balance beam or playing football). The involvement in multiple sports is helpful in maintaining self-regulation for daily tasks as well as developing a social network and achieving a sense of belonging in a community or social setting. It also helps children develop and maintain appropriate controlled body movement during task performance which, when effective, limits the energy required thus minimising fatigue.
With good balance and coordination, there is less likelihood of injury as the child is likely to have appropriate postural responses when needed (i.e. putting hands out to protect themselves when they fall off their bike). The physical attributes of balance also allow appropriate posture for tabletop tasks and subsequent success at fine motor tasks.
A Fun Way to include Balancing!
TIGHTROPE WALKING (Heel to Toe Walking) This activity features some of the bravest circus performers: tightrope walkers! Find your tightrope lay it on the floor, get up your courage, and get moving with one of the most fun motor development activities around!
FIND OUT MORE!
For more games and other fun moving activities find an Amazing Athletes program near you! If you want to spread the joy of movements and sports in your area check out our Franchise Opportunity page and learn how to become your own boss!