Balancing Games

Island Jumping – Scatter spots (hoops) all over the floor.  These are the “islands”  Children jump (hop, leap) from one to the next trying not to fall off into the “shark infested waters”.  

Musical Freeze – Dance, jump, hop and wriggle to music.  When the music stops “freeze” maintaining your balance.  (alternatively use a whistle to indicate when to freeze).  For variation try balancing on one foot when the music stops.

Children’s Yoga

Starfish – arms and legs spread wide apart.  

Tree – balance on one foot.  

Mountain – reach arms high above head, stand tall on tip toes.  

Cobra – laying on tummy use hands and arms to gently lift upper body, eyes focusing forward.

Boat – sitting on bottom with arms reaching out in front, lift and lengthen legs out in front also (balancing on bottom).

Downward Dog – on both hand and feet with bottom in the air.

Landed airplane – arms to side, lean forward, front leg bent, back leg stretching straight back.

Come up with other shapes – ballerina, bridge, letters of the alphabet…

Balance on various body parts – one knee one hand, two knees two elbows, on your back, on your tummy, one foot two hands, on each knee, on bottom…be as creative as you like.  

 

Dynamic Balancing – Balance along a beam or a rope laid along the floor.  Alternatively use chalk or masking tape.  Make straight lines, wiggly lines, zig zags, spirals and shapes.  Children walk along these lines/shapes.  Try walking forwards, sideways, backwards and criss crossing feet over the rope.  Place obstacles along the rope (bean bags, teddy bears) for children to steep over.  Place the rope in a “V”  formation and allow children to balance along on hands and feet from the narrow end to the wide end.    

Egg and Spoon – Children try balancing a ping pong ball on a spoon while walking along a rope or around the playground.  

Bean Bag Balance – Children attempt to balance a bean bag on various parts of their body (head, shoulder, foot, knee, back, elbow etc).  Try walking walk the bean bag balanced on your head.  Slowly crouch to the ground and back up again.  Try spinning to the left and right.  

Feed the Shark – Children balance along a rope carrying a bean bag (in hand, on back, on head).  When the get to the end they throw the bean bag into the bucket to “feed the shark”.  

Connect – Move around and when the whistle goes the children have to connect their body parts together- e.g. elbow to knee, foot to knee, hand to head, foot to foot, hand to foot, elbow to hand etc

Balance Exploration – Explore the different body parts you can balance on i.e. foot, feet, knees, hips, tummy, back, side, shoulder, hands and head. Emphasize that the body weight should not be supported by the head on its own. Always use another body part to help support it.

Spinning/Rotating – Turning around in circles – go both ways. Going slow is just as beneficial. Challenge children by getting them to close their eyes and spin.  Provide each child a hoop.  See if they can spin around while staying inside the circle.

Upside Down – Standing on their feet get children to lower their heads and bend down to look between their legs. See if they can bring their head and hands to the floor, can they can wave to a friend while looking through their legs, can they walk around backwards looking between their legs. Get them to throw beanbags into a hoop through their legs.

Pencil Rolling – Child lies on floor with arms stretched above head and rolls, try doing this by keeping fingers on a line. Co-operative pencil rolling – get children to lie opposite to one another so that they can join hands and roll together- or use scarves to hold onto.

Sausage Rolls – Roll up in a blanket then unroll. Great to do in a parachute or sheet.  Lie on top of the sheet/parachute hold an edge and then roll up. Children have to then roll the other way.

Songs – Sway and slowly twirl around to music, holding a scarf or scarves in their hands. Dance to the music, spinning the children under your arm one way and then the other.

http://www.sportnz.org.nz/assets/Uploads/attachments/managing-sport/young-people/Balance-Swinging-Spinning-and-Rocking.pdf