It seems like children are always on the move, and just like the energizer bunny, they keep going. But what can you do with your kids to add just a little bit of structure to their movements? Ripple Walk is a balance beam that helps provide a way for children to practice their balance while stimulating their sense of touch. The pieces can also be laid in a variety of lengths to allow kids to balance for further distances. Below are 3 great activities you can do with Ripple Walk. Don’t worry if you do not have this exact beam many of the activities can be done with any beam you have.  We have also provided some additional items you could use instead of a beam that can be found around your house.

Girl balancing

Straight Walking Path

This first activity is an easy one. Attach beam pieces in a way that creates a straight line and encourage children to walk across it with one foot in front of the other and keep their balance. What do they feel on their feet as they walk across?

Once children master walking on one path, break the line into two pieces and encourage children to walk with one foot on each beam. Is this harder or easier?

Planning your Step

It is very easy for children to follow the line or practice balancing on one beam, but what if there are gaps and holes? Separate the beam in sets of 2 and space them out in the room. Ask children to walk one foot in front of the other and then take a larger set to get to the next set of beam pieces. Children will have to work on their balance and sometimes pause for a minute before stepping to the next sections.

For an added challenge, move the grouping of pieces so they are not in a straight line and children need to change their direction as they move from piece to piece.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Instead of walking along the beam with just your feet you can balance and move across the beam with your hands and feet. If a single row is too challenging for this split the beam in two and have side by sidetracks to walk along with your right foot and hand on one beam and your left foot and hand the other. As their confidence builds you can easily add gaps in the beam and make kids step further as they move.

Another option would be to try and to balance something on your head or hold something out in front you or to the side in the palm of your hand. By changing up the difficulty, you increase the child’s engagement with the activity.

I hope these ideas helped you find some new ways to use your beam and work on balance with children to help them control their get up and move attitudes. But what if you don’t have the beam? The easiest way at home to work on these balance skills is to use a variety of pillows. Start with a few pillows off your beds, then mix in a throw pillow from the couch. Using pillows of different densities, thicknesses, or materials helps stimulate your child’s senses as he/she works on balance. For a more advanced DIY beam, you can use 2 x 4s and cut them in various sizes. Then use puffy paints to create different tactile designs on the beams. Now, it’s time to go out and move!

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