Miss Merriweather takes a tumble in the library while balancing on a step stool to reach a book. While her mistake was trying to balance on her tiptoes while on the step stool, working on balance is an important gross motor skill for children to develop. Have some Book Play fun inspired by Miss Merriweather and try some of our favorite balancing games.
Simon Says Balance On….
- 1 foot
- 1 foot with both arms over your head
- 1 foot with the other touching your knee
- 1 foot and 2 hands
- 1 foot and 2 elbows
- 1 foot and 1 hand
- 2 hands and 2 feet
- 2 knees and 2 elbows
- Your bottom and 2 hands with no feet touching the floor
- Your bottom and 1 hand with no feet touching the floor
- Your tiptoes
There’s A Lion On Your Head!
Place a small stuffed lion toy (or any other stuffed creature you have on hand) on your young reader’s head.
Invite your reader to walk from one point to another without dropping the lion.
As skill improves, expand the directions to walk slow, fast, forward, backward, sideways, zigzagging or even try turning in a circle.
Make a balance beam on the floor by placing a strip about 5 feet long in a straight line on the floor. You want the strip to be about 3 inches wide.
Invite your child to:
- Walk the line
- Hop down the line on two feet
- Hop down the line on one foot
- Walk down the line on tiptoes
- Place a stuffed lion on the line half way down the line. Invite your child to:
- Walk down the line and step over the lion
- Walk down the line and squat down and pick up the lion while keeping both feet on the tape then finish walking the line
- Walk down the line, squat down and pick up the lion then turn around and go back to the beginning while keeping both feet on the tape
Make Your Own Romper Stompers
Do you have memories stepping up on the yellow cups and grabbing the green strings then taking off on your Romper Stompers? I spent many an hour clomping through the house, not realizing I was actually improving my balance and coordination and not just playing for the heck of it. Although you can still find versions of these toys to buy, the wonderful folks at Martha Stewart have given us directions for making your own in the form of elephant feet. If you and your young reader decide to make a pair send us a pic and let us know if Romper Stompers are still as fun today as they once were!