Having good balance is essential for all of us. It reduces the risk of injuries and can improve the awareness of posture and body position. Once learnt, balance needs to be maintained. It’s a key skill that declines with age but can be improved with practice. So it’s important to develop it from a young age and maintain it throughout childhood to adulthood.
Children are continuously exposed to balance through play. Playground favourites such as hopscotch and freeze tag encourage the ability to maintain controlled body positions. From the age of two years, children can start to ride a balance bike. As the bike’s frame is low to the ground, feet can act as stoppers and falling is minimised. Here, motor skills, coordination and the sense of balance are trained in a playful way.
Once children learn how to balance and steer, they can transition to a pedal bike, without needing training wheels. They can also enjoy other outdoor toys such as scooters and skateboards, which continue to develop and maintain their motor skills. While playing, children should always wear protective gear such as knee pads and helmets.