Curved wooden balance boards are believed to have first been used by the children in Waldorf Steiner schools. As the benefits of using these balance boards became more widely known we have seen them grow in popularity and use.
Here are just some of the benefits of using a wooden balance board:
They provide a great form of exercise as your child rocks, balances and climbs the board. They are particularly useful at increasing strength and core stability, improving balance and reflexes, fostering gross motor coordination and weight distribution, and developing spatial awareness and proprioception. There are even entire kid’s exercise and yoga programs designed around the balance board!
Balance boards are also perfect when the weather means you can’t get outdoors but the kiddies still need to expend some energy.
Several studies have even been conducted looking into the physical benefits of using a balance board. This study on athletes found that using a balance board was effective in the prevention of ankle sprains.
As explained by the children’s occupational therapy team at KidSense
“Balance is the ability to maintain a controlled body position during task performance, whether it is sitting at a table, walking the balance beam or stepping up onto a kerb.”
They go on to explain that mastering this fundamental skill is important in allowing the child to do such things as participating in sports, moving their body fluidly, riding a bike and performing basic daily tasks.
It makes sense that standing on a moving curved surface would be a great way to help develop balance, and this study conducted on 6-year-olds demonstrated that the use of a balance board has been found to improve static balance in children.
A wooden balance board is a fantastic, open-ended resource that can really inspire all types of imaginative and constructive play. While adults sometimes only see a curved piece of wood, a child will see a:
- Tunnel to crawl under
- Ramp for their cars
- Wall for their pretend house
- Mountain to climb
- Foundation for their block tower
- Cot for their doll
- and sooooo much more
HELPS CHILDREN TO WIND DOWN
After countless hours of rocking your little one to sleep, I’m sure we can all attest to the soothing power of gentle movement.
The rocking motion of a wooden balance board has a beautifully calming effect and can be used to help children relax and wind down. You can also pop a few cushions and a blanket on the board to create a comfy little nest that your child will enjoy snuggling into with an interesting book or some soothing music to listen to.
Parents, therapists and teachers are even using balance boards in helping to reduce symptoms and improve concentration in children with ADHD.
As you can see, wooden balance boards truly are a wonderful investment for your child. They provide opportunities for both active and quiet play, as well as fostering numerous developmental milestones and skills.
Check out our collection of wooden balance boards here.
Do you have a balance board? What is the most creative way you have seen your little ones use it?