Why Use Stepping Stones for Balance During Therapy Sessions?
Working on balance activities for kids is crucial for healthy development. Kids need to work on single leg stance and dynamic balance in order to be successful during physical education class, to be able to navigate the playground, to safely manage climbing stairs, and much more!
Stepping stones can be a fun and playful way to address balance skills and they’re a super versatile toy that can be used in many different ways!
How to Use Stepping Stones for Balance
What You’ll Need:
A set of stepping stones
Some other simple props (small toys/beanbags/colored paper)
What to do:
Check out the stepping stones video here to see some of these ideas in action!
Walk from stone to stone
This activity is the easiest and most obvious way to use stepping stones for balance. Simply place the stones on the floor in any configuration (in a circle, in a line, etc.) and have kids walk from stone to stone, trying not to fall off.
Bend and Reach
Have kids cross the stepping stones with this fun twist! Instead of just walking across, they have to bend and pick up an object while balancing on the stones! Place small toys or other objects along the path of the stepping stones. Tell kids which item they need to retrieve. When they get to the stepping stone closest to that item, they have to maintain their balance while bending into a low squat on the stepping stone as they reach for and grab the item!
Place the stepping stones in a line. Tape a small colored piece of paper next to each stepping stone. As kids walk across, have them stand on the stone with one foot, while tapping their other foot onto the piece of paper. Then, step back up and continue to the next stone.
Now kids are ready for the next challenge! Can they bear crawl across the stepping stones without their hands and feet touching the floor?
Check out this fun camping themed activities where kids have to balance on the stepping stone as they try to catch a fish!
Try a Game of Catch
Have the child stand on one or two stepping stones as you toss a ball or bean bag back and forth!
How to Change it Up:
-Try walking without shoes to provide greater proprioceptive input.
-If walking across a single path is too difficult for the child, place the stones out two at a time, so there is a space for both feet next to each other.
-Space the stones even farther apart for a greater challenge or put them in a curvy line instead of straight.
-Place objects between the stones that your child would have to step over before getting to the next stone for an added dose of motor planning, balance, and coordination practice.
-Need some friendly competition and have a few kiddos around? Have each child try to stand on one foot on a stone. Who can do this the longest without falling off?