I don’t know if one gross motor skill is more important in the development of a young child or not, but I know that without a good sense of balance and control, many necessary skills can be difficult for children. That’s why every home with a young child should have a fun, playful, and safe balance beam. Yep – you read that right: a balance beam.
We’re not talking about competition balance beams that are a million feet off the ground with only centimeters of area for the feet. No, we’re talking about balance beams that were intended for use in the home for the purpose of teaching balance while having a fun time. These balance beams sit flat on the ground, are made of a sturdy core with a gentle surface material and can’t tip over easily because the bottom of the beam is flared to be larger than the top. These things actually fold in half for easy storage, too.
The issue of storage for a balance beam may actually be a non-issue (but that’s a good thing!), because as every parent knows, kids will try to walk on anything challenging, a curb, a fallen log, the grouted grooves between floor tiles – where there’s a line calling, they will accept the challenge, spread their arms wide, and begin the trek. So your balance beam may be out more than it’s folded and put away. And don’t be surprised if the kids find other uses for the beam as well. While their motor skills are developing, their imaginations are keeping pace.
Balance beams, whether for beginners or more practiced tumblers and gymnasts are a fantastic tool to have in your parenting kit. Without knowing it, as they play, your kids will be developing crucial balance and control skills, and become comfortable with a gymnastics apparatus that may very well lead to an interest in more formal tumbling or gymnastics instruction. Good job.