As you all know we have been working on walking on balance Beam for almost a year now. I thought of explaining why its so important from PT point of view.
To encourage balance and body awareness. When a child walks slowly across a balance beam, his/her body is developing balance and learning where it is in space.
It requires Concentration, Hand eye co ordination, Muscular strength, endurance, Maintaining posture.This skill also leads to understanding one’s own left and right.
Being on balance means having an even distribution of weight on each side of a vertical axis. The center of gravity is over the base of support.
For young children, being on balance simply means not falling over. Walking on a beam is considered dynamic balance—being on balance while moving.
How to Teach this development of skill in walking on a beam:
Extend arms to the side
Look straight ahead, not down.
Slow and steady take steps, Weight bearing comes to play.
Hold hands then take steps
1 hand steps
Hold a toy in instead of hands
Stand behind and hold shirt for support
Slowly let go of all support.
Lastly have patience! Took us 1 year to get to this point.
As you all can see Kyra is slowly getting more and more aware and can walk unsupported now.
She was so scared of letting go of our hands and walk independently on this, we had to stop practicing on the beam for a good 6 months. Today when we picked it back up she seemed so confident, did it in one try.
As parents its our duty to not let our kids live in fear and also to let them know that we understand that they are scared and respect it.
I tell her " it's okay to be scared, being scared only means that you are about to do something really Brave"
Today she was really Brave!