DH built this homemade wooden balance beam for the kids to use outdoors last summer. It took him all of about 5 minutes to make it using scrap wood we had in the garage — his old loft bed from college — so it didn’t really cost us anything. Our preschool aged kids have had tons of fun with it and it’s GREAT for improving balance, building confidence, and practicing gross motor skills!
We store the balance beam under our screened in porch/deck and pull it out when we’re playing in the backyard. Both Luke (age 4) and Lilah (age 2-3/4) love to practice walking across it.
Lilah likes to experiment with moving across the beam in lots of different ways. Here she is trying out some various movements:
L&L also like to practice jumping off the end. Encourage your child to jump with both feet…that’s how they taught the kids to do it in the ballet class Lilah took in the fall, so I assume that’s the “proper” way.
|Heading back to do it all again!|
While this is pretty fun on its own, you could always step it up for kids who weren’t as interested by making it part of an obstacle course or some other type of game! The interest level in an activity like this will also depend on the child — Luke is moderately interested, while Lilah LOVES it! If your child is nervous at first, let them practice walking across while you hold their hands to help them balance. You might even let them start by driving cars or walking a stuffed animal across to build up their confidence.
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