|Babies||Walkers 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Being able to balance is of fundamental importance in young children. Balance begins to develop before birth and continues to develop until adulthood. Without balance, children can’t sit, crawl or stand,, and develop eye movement and vision. Also children with poor balance (or poorly developed vestibular systems) are more likely to have poor attention spans and be easily distracted. Good balance depends on strong back and tummy muscles, so activities to strengthen them are also crucial. The more movement that a baby does the more opportunity there is to build muscle tone, stimulate balance and build the neural connections required for development. For convenience babies spend lots of time in car seats, buggies, bouncy chairs or rockers and this is all wasted time in terms of development of muscle tone, balance and coordination. Children build balance and coordination through this fun activity. Initially this can be done using the adult’s hands to support them. Show them how to use their hands to balance
- Bean bags and bubbles
- Two to three weeks
How it works
Children are encouraged to move around the room slowly like space-walking.
What to do in the class
Children move around the room very slowly as if walking on the moon and complete tasks which encourage them to balance on one leg.
Demonstrate what balancing on one leg looks like and see if the children can copy you. Explain we are going to need to know how to balance as we are spacemen and we are going on a moon walk. Get children to step on the spot but very slowly keeping their foot in the air just a little longer than normal. They can hold on to their parents for support. Every now and again say ‘Freeze’ and see if they can hold their foot up a little longer still. Then get the children to walk very slowly around the hall so that they have to keep their foot up in the air for longer than normal before stepping. Every now and again shout ‘freeze’ and see if children can hold the pose for a little bit more.
Adaptation for older/younger children
Moon rocks – Now explain you are going to have to collect samples of moon rocks and put them into the buckets but they have to do it with their feet. Place buckets around the room with piles of ribbons and bean bags etc Parents help put the ribbons/beanbags on their foot and the child tries to lift their foot and put it back into the bucket.
Moon bubbles – blow lots of bubbles (the small ones that don’t burst easily) and explain to the children they have to burst the moon bubbles but they can only do it with their feet and because they have big spacement boots on they have to lift their foot up really high before giving a big stamp on the bubble.
What to do in a nursery setting
Suggested suitable music from itunes
Space Walk & Landing Bright Stars Move to the Music: Toddlers Dance Class
Walking on the Moon The Police The Very Best of Sting and the Police
Dr Who – TV Theme Various Artists The Complete Halloween Party Album