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olivia@nfamilyclub.com

Play mat

What you need

An open space where you can get a little active. Avoid places with sharp objects and furniture if possible.

Benefits

This activity develops body coordination, balance skills and decision making.

The experience

Either indoors or outdoors (if available), ask your child/children to stand facing you so that you can see them and they can see you. Demonstrate different balance poses and ask the children to imitate you.

Some example poses (you can invent more):

  • Stand up on the tips of your toes, arms reaching high overhead.
  • Stand with legs wide apart, arms reaching up and out (wide star).
  • Stand with legs together, arms reaching sideways like wings (narrow star).
  • Stand on one leg, other leg bent at the knee, arms raised to the side like wings.
  • Stand on one leg, arms raised to the side like wings, then bend forward at the waist and lift the rear leg (aeroplane pose).
  • Stand on all fours, head down, rear in the air (downward dog pose in yoga).
  • From all fours, raise and hold one leg high in the air.
  • From all fours, raise and hold one arm high in the air.
  • Advanced challenge: Stork stand/tree stand (balance on one foot, then place other foot against support leg below the knee, stretch out arms like wings).
  • Where possible, adjust the difficulty of the poses according to the age and ability of the children. 

Some useful tips for instruction: whenever you pose on one leg or one hand, be sure to repeat the same pose standing on the other leg or hand (this helps to develop ambidexterity). If your child/children demonstrate a good mastery of different balance poses, ask them to lead you with a pose. Enjoy!