Children are always on the move, from running circles around the house to jumping over objects as an obstacle course. It is safe to say that there is not much a parent can do to productively drain out the child’s energy.
As parents, we always want the best for our children, don’t we? Also, Who says education cannot be fun?
When given the right opportunity your child can flourish even when they are indulging in autonomous play.
Balance boards are one exciting way of enhancing your child’s gross motor skills through productive play.
Perfect for your highly active and spontaneous toddler, balance boards are a great addition to any home.
To help understand the basic use, purpose, and benefits of this exciting toy here is everything a vigilant parent should know about balance boards.
What is a Balance Board?
A Balance Board is a curved wooden board usually meant for young children or toddlers to play with.
These boards are great for physical activities, exercise activities, and the child’s overall entertainment.
Balance Boards are manufactured from natural wood and often have a waterproof coating that can be used indoors and outdoors.
Synonymously known as Wobble Boards, Balance Boards are a versatile way of enhancing the child’s gross motor skills, developing balance, improving the child’s posture, and strengthening their core muscles.
A Balance Board is a unique opportunity for the child to explore new beginnings and opportunities.
As a unique and engaging toy, Balance boards set your child up for success. Furthermore, these exciting toys are growing in popularity amongst parents of exceptionally energetic toddlers.
Balance boards are great for young children and toddlers as they allow the child to strengthen and develop your child in a fun way.
What is the purpose of Balance Boards?
The chief reason for using a Balance Board is for enhancing the child’s development process through fun activities.
Often being confused with training balance boards, Wobble boards or Balance Boards are used for gross motor growth, development of balance, and encouraging physical strength through open-ended autonomous play.
Another Purpose of using a Balance board is to enhance the child’s imagination. Through open-ended play, the child can assume the Balance board to be anything they way from a boat, slide, or bed, to a tunnel.
What is the appropriate age for using a Balance Board?
When used with appropriate safety measures, a Balance Board can be used with children as young as infants.
For infants, Balance Boards can be used for rocking the infant back and forth, once the child develops into a toddler they can be allowed to climb up and down with close supervision.
Balance boards are great toys for even elementary students to stand or balance on as well as explore new horizons through the power of imagination.
What are the benefits of using a Balance Board?
Balance Boards are curved wooden boards that are often meant for toddlers and children to use or play with.
Along with play, there are several other benefits a child may enjoy by using a Balance Board.
The list of benefits relating to Balance Boards is delineated below:
1. Cognitive Development:
Exercises performed on the Balance Board can help develop prolonged periods of focus as well as a prolonged attention span in children and promotes children to process self-directed attention.
2. Behavioral Development:
Balance boards are a great opportunity for improving the child’s behavior. Since Balance Boards appear to be like a new and exciting gadget, many children have an enhanced interest in playing with them.
This autonomous play helps encourage the child to indulge inappropriate behaviors, gets them excited to learn, and helps them become a seeker of knowledge.
3. Development of posture and motor skills:
In modern times due to developing technology, bad posture has become an ongoing issue for children and adults alike.
Balance Boards are an exceptionally great toy for developing and enhancing gross motor skills as well as balance in children.
Balance Board activities and exercises help straighten up the spine as well as help stretch out core muscles.
4. Emotional Benefits of a Balance Board:
Balance board exercises and activities can help children overcome emotional stress. With the help of balance boards, the child is able to achieve self-esteem, and improved posture and their levels of self-control are also enhanced.
5. Enhanced imagination:
The possibilities are endless when playing with a Balance board. Children develop an enhanced sense of imagination when playing with a Balance board as they can assume the toy to be anything they want.
A Balance Board can be anything a child wants from a bed, slide, tunnel, ramp, rocker, or care, to mountains, obstacles, cots, and seesaws.
What to look for before buying a Balance Board:
Here is a list of points to pay attention to when buying a Balance Board:
Whether the board is painted or plain:
The aesthetic of the toy plays a huge role for children and toddlers. Just like the Pikler Triangle one may assume that a wooden toy should be sealed or painted on.
But this is not necessary; wooden toys can be completely child-friendly as long as they have a generous coating of varnish.
There is a wide range of paints and finishes that can actually damage or hinder the quality of the wood while others can make the wooden Balance Board become slippery and hazardous. It is best to choose a Balance board that is sealed with just beeswax.
If the Balance Board has felt or not:
There are several versions of balance boards available, some have felted bases and others do not.
Felt improves the grip as well as eliminates the possibility of injury due to slipping or falling from the Balance Board.
If you have carpeted flooring at home a balance board without felt can still be used. But if your home does not have carpets, using a Balance board with felt can help eliminate the dangers.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that there is a variety of felts available in the market. If you have pets at home it is best to purchase a balance board with woolen felt to avoid the felt from collated pet fur.
Size of the Balance Board:
Lastly, the size of the Balance Board also matters. There are usually two sizes of balance boards available in the market for children.
One is bigger for older children and a smaller one for toddlers and infants. It is best to purchase a bigger Balance Board so your child won’t outgrow it.
How do Balance Boards Help Montessori Children?
Balance Boards are a great option for parents who are searching for a fun and exciting way to develop their children through exercise.
Balance boards increase the core stability in children, improve their balance and reflexes in children, help develop gross motor skills, and develop their spatial awareness as well as proprioception.
A Balance Board can be regarded as a Montessori toy, as it is based on the basic Montessori Principles and philosophies.
These Montessori toys are specifically designed to stimulate the child’s senses, develop gross motor skills and help them explore new possibilities through their imagination.
Balance boards promote children to indulge in auto-didactic play which is another Montessori Principle, that promotes the child to become confident, independent, and self-reliant.
Are Balance Boards Worth It?
Whether balance boards are worth our money or not entirely depends on what you expect from the toy.
Balance boards are sustainable toys that promote the development and strengthening of the large motor as well as gross motor skills.
For people who are looking for toys that can be beneficial for the child for a long period of time, then purchasing a Balance Board is definitely worth it.
Should you buy a Balance Board for your child?
Balance Boards are an exciting you that promote the physical development of the child. If you are a parent of a child who is always on the move, they may be the perfect option to facilitate their physical development.
These curved wooden boards encourage children to sway back and forth or even climb over. Balance boards are a great way to enhance the child’s gross motor skills, improve their ability to balance, encourage weight distribution, and help develop their core stability as well as their strength.