To move safely, a child must be able to sit or stand in a balanced position, and then move from this to another balanced position.
Good balance skills enable us to correct ourselves and stay upright in unstable conditions, for example on uneven ground, walking in crowds or standing on one leg.
If a child is having difficulty with their balance, you’ll notice that they:
There are lots of ways to improve a child’s balance and build up their confidence. Try encouraging them to try different types of movement, including:
Postural control is the ability to control the muscles of the tummy, back, shoulders and pelvis, which is important to be able to balance. Gymnasts and ballet dancers are examples of people with excellent postural control. Activities that improve postural control include:
If you have been following this advice and they have difficulty with balance and movement skills compared to friends of the same age – they might fall often, or be unable to jump with two feet together, by three and a half years of age, please speak to your health visitor or GP.