Coordination and balance, two vital qualities for the human body, lay the foundation for the human body to perform any action efficiently. With coordination, the body seamlessly synchronises multiple parts, orchestrating their movements harmoniously. Like a well-choreographed dance, this ability allows us to execute any activity with grace and precision.
On the other hand, balance plays a pivotal role in maintaining control over our bodies, whether at rest or in motion. When stationary, we strive for static balance, ensuring stability and poise. When in motion, dynamic control becomes paramount, allowing us to navigate the ever-changing landscape with ease. Together, coordination and balance form the bedrock of our physical prowess, enabling us to conquer any challenge that comes our way.
Proper coordination and balance helps your child to perform daily activities with utmost ease and avoid falls & injuries. The brain has to process multiple signals to perform a complex physical task. With good coordination, it is better equipped to interpret these signals and complete the action.
In this guide, we’ll explore balance and coordination exercises for kids that can hone these critical skills through practice and also have fun while doing so. However, before that let’s understand the role they play in children’s life.
A] Importance Of Balance And Coordination In Children
Balance and coordination play a crucial role in a child’s innate learning and developmental journey. Without honing these skills, children may encounter difficulties in maintaining attentive behaviour while sitting and listening to their teachers. Often, they grapple with improper body postures, frequent distractions, and restlessness within the classroom setting. Encouraging them to remain still for even a brief period becomes an arduous endeavour. Consequently, their academic performance is significantly hindered by a lack of focus and attention.
Outside the classroom, children can also find it difficult to indulge in games and sports. They fall & trip easily and often get back home with bruises. Balance and coordination activities for kids can significantly enrich the quality of their lives.
This is why playground activities for primary schools have become a necessity today. Identifying the symptoms of poor balance and coordination in children early on will help you take prompt action.
B] Identifying The Symptoms Of Poor Balance And Coordination In Children
Parents and teachers need to pay close attention to the following signs to identify a child who is struggling with balance & coordination.
- Difficulty in performing daily routine activities.
- Stiff body movements that appear to be robotic.
- Slow progress in achieving developmental milestones such as crawling, walking, and talking.
- Difficulty in reading and writing.
- Poor focus and attention to complete any task. Get easily distracted by the surroundings.
- Frequently avoiding physical games and activities.
- Lack of control over body movements.
- Easily prone to accidental falls and injuries.
- The child gets tired quickly from physical activities due to low endurance levels.
C] 9 Effective Balance And Coordination Exercises For Kids
Dedicated balance activities and coordination exercises for children can help them overcome most of these problems. This gives a tremendous boost to their confidence and enables them to lead a better life.
Listed below are balance and coordination exercises that should be included in the physical education in primary schools. Proper balance and coordination can help the children become more confident and live a better life.
1. Wheelbarrow Walking
Wheelbarrow walking is an extremely enjoyable activity that does not require any equipment. Make the child place his hands firmly on the ground. You can lift both his legs and make him walk using his arms. This resembles the working of a wheelbarrow, an old device that is used to carry loads. This simple activity helps kids to balance their bodies, enhance their core strength, and build motor skills.
2. Crab Walking
Crab walking is a powerful exercise that tones and strengthens the entire body. Make the child sit on the floor. The legs should be placed in front, and the hands should be behind, pointing forward. Help the child lift his bottom off the ground and slowly move forward & backwards. This would resemble how a crab moves around. Crab walking is one of the best coordination activities for kids. It strengthens the body and makes it more stable & flexible.
3. Bike Riding
Riding a small bicycle is one of the simplest activities to learn the art of balancing for kids. But make sure they use the training wheels while starting off to prevent falls & injuries.
Cycling is a complete body workout with a host of benefits for kids. Regular cycling builds their leg muscles and strengthens their bones. It helps them improve their balance, strength, and sense of coordination.
A simple game of hopscotch can be a great balancing exercise for kids. Here, every player has to toss a coin or pebble into the first box in the hopscotch grid (which is numbered). The player then hops across the grid by skipping the box with the tossed object to reach the last box. The player then turns around and reaches the box with the object to retrieve it without stepping inside that box. This game improves your body control and motor skills.
Yoga offers incredible benefits to enhance your child’s balancing and coordination skills.
The 12 poses of Surya Namaskar (or Sun salutation) are one of the best exercises to improve coordination. The Vrikshasana (or tree pose) involves standing on one leg and getting the other one up to press against the inner thigh. This posture enhances the mind-body balance. The Virabhadrasana (or warrior pose) is a standing yogic exercise that improves balance and tones the muscles.
Twister is a fun physical game that can also improve your kid’s social skills. It is played on the ground using a large plastic mat. This mat shall have four rows with six coloured circles in each row. Each row will have a different colour. You need to put your hands & legs at different places on the mat and ensure that you do not fall over while doing so. This game is a great balance exercise for kids.
7. Playing Catch
This is one of the most basic games for children. All you need is a ball (or a flying disc) and a partner to throw it back and forth at each other. The game helps to develop hand-eye coordination and strengthens your kid’s reflexes. Catching is said to be linked to cognitive functioning. A child who can catch quickly with ease is said to have high levels of brain efficiency.
8. Mountain Climbers
You don’t need to take your child to the mountains. In this game, the floor in your house becomes the mountain. Starting from a plank position, you need to alternate, bringing both your knees to chest level. Maintain a steady pace and simulate climbing against the floor. This full-body workout for the kids builds strength and enhances their balance & coordination skills.
9. Balancing On A Trampoline
A trampoline is a great fitness device that kids love to play with. But there is more to a trampoline than just jumping up and down. You can challenge your child to stand on it on one foot and see how long they can endure. With practice, kids should be able to hold the position longer and better. This exercise can significantly improve their balance and posture.
Balance and coordination activities are vital for your child’s holistic development. They impact how your child deals with both routine & complex activities throughout the day and in life. Without proper development of these skills, kids would struggle to even perform basic tasks.
But you can enrich the quality of their lives and help them excel by incorporating balance & coordination exercises in their daily regimen. Schools play a pivotal role in keeping their students physically active and mentally agile during their formative years.
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