How do I improve balance through movement

Coordination is child's play - eleven games with video instructions

Many children are unable to perform even simple movements in a coordinated manner. The ability to keep your own body in balance and to control complex movements precisely, quickly and variably is immensely important for healthy development - and actually child's play.

TK created the short films together with the Heidelberg sports scientist Professor Dr. Klaus Roth and Dr. Mareike Pieper and the Hamburg filmmaker Holger Braack.

Demand yes, overwhelm no

The best way to practice coordination with your child is to use games that involve moving precisely, quickly and variably. Or games that are complex because they combine several movements at the same time or one after the other.

Always use movements that your child has already mastered, for example jumping, running, throwing something or balancing. Then vary the game with additional requirements, for example: Can you also do it backwards? Or with your eyes closed? This will make the game more interesting and your child will expand their skills.

Look closely. If your child can't do something yet, make the exercise easier. Always in such a way that the child really has mastered the basic movement. This way, it has a sense of achievement more quickly and notices for itself that it is making progress - and that is what motivates the most. Your praise should of course not be missing.

Eleven coordination games

Whether inside or outside: This is how you give children the opportunity to improve their coordination.

"Cup and Ball" game

Catch games like "Cup and Ball" will help your child learn to move quickly and accurately. You can also use cups and balls for balancing. By the way: with every variant that children try, they develop their coordination a little more. Just take a look.

One throws the ball, the other catches it with the cup. Catching is easier if the ball hits the ground beforehand. As a variant, your child can, for example, turn around once before catching it or throw the ball up with one hand and catch it with the other.

Balance games

When balancing, your child primarily learns to move precisely and flexibly. Here children balance with cups from the kitchen cupboard, on their outstretched hands, on their heads, backwards, forwards, with their eyes closed and have a lot more ideas of what to do with them.

You can also use wooden spoons, sticks, balls or empty water bottles for balancing. Try standing first, then walking. Is it also possible with closed eyes? Or over small obstacles, for example pillows. Your child may even be able to step into a chair while doing this.

Play with the balloon

Playing with balloons is fun and promotes coordination. Because you can practice moving quickly, precisely and variably and even combining several movements with one another. We have even more suggestions: the children can touch an object that you name them or clap their hands before catching. Perhaps you can think of other variants. For example, balancing with balloons - for example on a toilet roll, while walking, on tiptoe, on your heels and around obstacles.

Game "heaven and hell"

Bouncing games like "Heaven and Hell" train balance and the ability to cope with even complex movements accurately and safely. Since time immemorial, children have played this game in a wide variety of ways. How exactly the boxes are recorded on the floor is not all that important. The main thing is that there are a few meaningful rules of the game.

The cleanup game

Who likes to tidy up? The tidying up game turns it into a coordination exercise, with which your child primarily trains target accuracy. Variants can also be used to practice the feeling of movement and the linking of movements. Throwing a target into the toy box - tidying up takes a little longer, but it is also more exciting. Who hits the toy box best? Who can throw the toy in backwards or between the legs? The children try it out.

Ball games

Ball games are ideal for developing coordinative skills. For example, to move precisely, quickly and variably. Mathis and Lucas show how this can even be done in the living room. With the right ball, for example a foam ball, you can play football yourself in the apartment. You can even manage to play three balls at the same time. Also possible: throwing cans, basketball in the wastepaper basket or skittles - with smaller balls even on a table.

Game "keep balance"

When balancing, children practice precisely controlling their movements and thus keeping their balance better and better - first slowly forwards, then faster, then backwards. Children can balance anywhere. For example on a small wall, on a rope that you put on the floor in the living room, on the joints between paving stones, even on the arm of the sofa. It is best to let your child develop their own ideas for variations.

Game "stone kicking"

With the game "Steinekicken", children train their ability to adapt to new things again and again. You also learn how to dose your effort correctly. You can kick stones with your children in a yard, on the play street or while taking a walk on a forest path. You need three stones the size of a chestnut. Two at a time form the goal, the third is kicked through by the children.

Again and again, a new gate is created from the two stones. The whole thing also works as a team game: To do this, you mark a goal, each team receives three stones, and then it's time to kick the bet. Who will get there the fastest? It is not that easy to always choose the right goal and then kick the stone so that it does not fly too short, but also not too far.

Game "jumping rope"

Jumping rope is a great workout for coordination. Because it practices moving quickly, variably and precisely. For example, swing a rope around in a circle at ankle height and let your child jump over it. On one leg, with both legs at the same time, forwards, backwards - try out variations. Just as good: if two people swing the rope and a third child walks through it without touching the rope.

Game "tug of war"

Tug of war trains balance and strengthens the muscles. Children don't even need a rope - an old blanket or a large towel will do the same. The "opponents" should be as equally strong as possible. Fun for most children: pull together against one adult. Tug of war can also be done sitting or lying down. Then smaller children can participate well.

River crossing game

In this game the children cross the huge river in the apartment. They are only allowed to step on the stones in the river. You decide where the river is: For example, from one edge of the carpet to the other. Or down the whole hallway. The "stones" are, for example, wooden boards, towels or pillows.

Each child receives two "stones". One has it, the second it puts it in front of it. Then it stands on the second "stone", picks up the first, places it in front of itself, stands on it and so on. Who will be the first to cross the river? The children can also try it as a team: Two children always have only two common pillows as "stones": one that they stand on and one that they can put in front of them.