Balance Games for the Home
by Jeanette Mangano, PT, DPT, PCS
Kids Place West Pediatric Physical Therapist
Balance is an important aspect in our ability to navigate environments safely and effectively. Balance training is something that we need to practice throughout our lives. Here are some fun ways that your kids and you can practice balance together!
Playing catch causes your body to react in order to catch the ball. When you reach outside or across your body to catch the ball, your body must adapt to stay upright. Try changing your foot position to increase the challenge. For example, stand close enough that your feet tough, place one foot in front of the other, or stand on one foot.
Kicking a ball back and forth and stopping the ball with one foot requires modified single leg stance time.
Try walking forwards, backwards, and side ways on a balance beam, curb, or a line.
Standing on unstable surfaces
Stand on pillows, couch cushions, or folded up blankets to improve balance on unstable surface while playing games or creating an obstacle course. You may also change your foot position to close together, heel to toe, or one foot. You could also close your eyes for added challenge!
This combines coordination, power, and balance to be able to synchronize jumping, single leg balance and transitioning from two-legged stance to one and back to two.
Red light/Green light
Having to stop unexpectedly when cued will demonstrate balance and control of movement.
Hope these are some fun activities you can try at home. What are there other games your family likes to play to work on balance?