Developing coordination and balance skills is essential for early childhood development. Thankfully, playing is a great way to encourage those skills and help children build strong bones and muscles. The three games below are ideal for improving coordination and balance while also keeping children engaged and having fun.
- Chalk Walk
This simple game can keep children entertained for a long time! Simply use some sidewalk chalk and draw a line that curves and twists (but never overlaps), on the sidewalk or concrete. Demonstrate for your young participants how they need to walk with one foot in front of the other from one end of the line to the other. Encourage them to stay on track and not fall off! This easy activity helps them improve their balance and coordination as they focus on lining up their feet on the chalk line.
- One Legged Basketball Bounce
The goal of this game is to see who can remain on one leg and continue bouncing a basketball at the same time the longest. Give each child a basketball or a softer ball that still bounces. Demonstrate how to stand on one foot (your foot does not need to be too high off the ground) and bounce the ball at the same time while remaining in place. Use a stopwatch to see how long they can stand on one leg and bounce the ball. Encourage them to beat their previous time on the next try.
- Obstacle Course
Set up a small obstacle course in the yard or playground and model how to complete it. Include activities like jumping rope and a small balance beam to help them improve their coordination and balance skills. Make sure to have obstacles that the children can complete, because an obstacle course that’s too hard is no fun at all.
Encouraging kids to play is a great way to help them develop the gross motor skills that are so essential to life. Whether it’s through organized games like the ones above, or simply riding bikes and playing on playground equipment, the act of play is essential for children’s growing bodies. How do you help your kids improve their coordination and balance?