4 Great Ideas for Improving a Toddler’s Balance

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(Newswire.net — May 7, 2024) — A good sense of balance is a key factor in a child’s ability to walk, run, climb stairs, and play sports. In turn, a strong core is required to balance the body effectively. If your toddler is walking but still unsteady on their feet, you can improve their sense of balance with activities that engage their core muscles. Here are some fun ideas to help improve your child’s balance and support their continuing development.

1. Practice “Freezing”

Staying frozen without moving a single muscle is a balancing activity that can easily be disguised as a game. For example, your toddler may enjoy “Freeze Dance,” which is a toddler-friendly game you can play right at home. While playing your child’s favorite song to dance to, insert some randomly spaced pauses where everyone must stop dancing and “freeze” until the music starts back up again. “Red Light, Green Light” is another simple game that incorporates freezing.

2. Stand on One Foot

By standing on one foot, toddlers can hone their balance and improve their ability to move each leg separately, both of which are important for learning how to walk with an even gait. Introduce your child to this skill by placing them by a chair or wall that they can hold onto for support while they practice. When your toddler’s abilities improve, challenge them to stand on one foot for longer periods. Once again, your toddler may have more fun with this activity if you frame it as a game. Alternatively, try introducing a series of yoga poses that require your child to stand on one foot, such as a tree pose or an eagle pose.

3. Use a Balance Bike

Sometimes referred to as “toddler push bikes,” balance bikes are pedal-less, two-wheeled bikes that are designed to improve a child’s balancing ability. Instead of turning pedals, your toddler must supply the power themselves by running while straddling the bike at the same time. The addition of handlebars also helps your toddler get used to standing upright and finding their center of gravity. This can help them feel more confident as they continue developing their physical skills. Balance bikes can be found in a wide variety of sizes, and they’re available for two-year-olds all the way up to preschool-aged kids.

4. Walk the Tightrope

To create a toddler-safe tightrope, lay a jump rope, length of yarn, or strip of masking tape in a straight line on the floor. Then, help your toddler learn how to walk heel-to-toe along the line as if they were walking on a balance beam. Once your child has mastered walking the entire tightrope without tripping or falling over, challenge them to do the same thing while walking backward.

Keep It Simple and Fun

As a parent, your job is to support your child’s growth, and the toddler years are the perfect time to begin working on balance skills. By choosing simple, age-appropriate activities that are easy to follow, you can jumpstart your child’s physical development and nurture their growing sense of independence.