Get active with balancing exercises that provide multiple health and fitness benefits for kids

March 12, 2014
Kids playing game
Credit: Photograph by Sabrina Helas

No matter your age, poise and stability are essential skills for staying fit. "Good balance is key because it helps prevent injury, keeps joints in proper alignment, and gives an advantage when it comes to playing sports," explains Jordan Metzl, a doctor of sports medicine at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery and the author of The Young Athlete. Help your child improve her balance (and practice your own) with these fun challenges.

1. Back to Back

Have your kids sit on the ground with their backs to each other. See if they can stand up without using their hands. Hint: They'll need to press against each other at the same time to pull it off.

2. Do the Hop

Drape a bandana or other lightweight fabric over one of your child's feet. With that foot lifted, can she hop up and down without losing the fabric?

3. Don't Drop the Ball

Have your child hold a ball between her knees (use one she can squeeze comfortably) then try to walk. Now, see if she can hop or skip.

Originally published in the April 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Family Fun