Sunday, February 27, 2011

Balance Beam

One thing my kids love to do espeically my daughter is walk on a balance beam. My kids have wonderful coordination and have learned to do it very safely through gymnastics including doing forward rolls.
So naturally when I made this blog one of the things you can make easily is a balance beam. A balance beam doesn't have to be anything spectacular at all. For some kids their challenge will be walking on a strip of tape on a floor. I have found the best indoor tape so far happens to be masking tape which can work on both carpet as well as other types of flooring. For others it might consist of a 2x4, 2X6 or a 4x4 depending on their ability. (Make sure you sand them down.) The 2x6 and even then the 2x4 can be placed on the floor. If you want padding can be added to the top by using carpet stapled down or you can put down bubble wrap with fabric stapled or tape to hold it on. If you want to add height the first thing is make sure you have a board that does NOT have any knots in it and is new or at least still very sturdy. You can then secure the beam onto some blocks of wood. Depending on your child's skill this might very. I have seen ones that are bolted or screwed in very securely. through both pieces of wood. Some people can cut a groove in a piece of wood with a bandsaw or a skill saw to make sure the board doesn't shift under the weight of your child if they should loose their balance.
I HIGHLY suggest that if you have this up in the air even a little bit that you get some sort of mats. These can be napping mats, foam pieces, or gym mats. If you have a couch you might be able to use the cushions if you're strapped for case although you'll want to make sure they're secured together.

Lastly, this is not an activity that your child should do alone. You need to be present. Do NOT put these boards on furniture to get them off the floor. It is VERY DANGEROUS. The boards could shift easily leading to a fall even if you are there.

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