In keeping with the Olympic theme this week, I thought I’d share one of the things my children, and I’m sure your children enjoy – balancing.
This is a very useful skill and one that is best mastered at a very young age so as to carry you on through the years and into old age. It’s not something we like to think about, but it is very important.
It all begins before birth while the little one is still safe in Mommy’s belly. All the movement throughout the day helps with balance after birth.
Before long, we’re singing nursery rhymes and bouncing babies on our knees. One action song we all know is very good for balance- Row, row, row your boat! The actions of going forward and back, and from side to side help to develop this sense of balance. So sing away, even in your worst voice (children don’t mind at all!) and help your child’s development.
In a couple of years, you’ll find yourself at the playground and your little one will love going around and around and around on the merry-go-round/round about or spinning circles in the middle of the front room. They would love for you to join them in the fun of spinning, but you can’t understand how they do it when it makes your tummy somersault. This is all part of the inner ear development and moving around the fluid within the ear helps with spacial awareness as well. The majority of this process is completed around the age of 7, which is when the motion of spinning begins not to feel so nice.
The current phase my children are going through at the moment is trying to balance along the edge of the curbs, or along walls when we’re out for our walks. Tristan is still nervous about it and goes quite slow. He’s a bit of a perfectionist and doesn’t like to get anything wrong. Kallista is more daring and moves quicker. She’s not as afraid of falling. But I think this is common in younger children as they see their older sibling performing tasks that they think they should be able to do, whereas the eldest child hasn’t had someone so close to show them the way or to imitate.
So try to leave the house a little earlier and let the children have fun balancing along the edge of the sidewalks, it isn’t just messing around, but learning a vital skill they will need for the rest of their lives. Even give it a go yourself!