Help your child name and find out about different body parts. Explore balancing and see if they can improve with practice.
Use a large roll of wallpaper to draw lifesize body outlines (lining paper is ideal - available from DIY shops). Ask your child to lie down on the wallpaper and draw around them – they love this bit! They might also enjoy drawing around you.
Use different coloured pens to see how many body parts you can label together. Depending on the age of your children, you could focus on naming different parts: younger children could name external parts such as knees, ankles, arms etc; older children could try and name internal organs, different muscle groups etc.
You could even experiment with drawing outlines in different sporting poses, such as running, jumping, hopping etc.
- Use our Brilliant body outline worksheet. Can you and your child cut out and stick on the labels in the correct places?
- Try the Brilliant bodies interactive activity to name body parts.
Balance is controlled by our vision and our proprioceptors. These are sensory receptors on the nerve endings in muscles, tendons, joints and the inner ear that tell you where you are in relation to the space around you.
If you can close your eyes and touch your eyes, nose or feet without looking, your proprioceptors are working!
Many injured athletes use proprioceptor training in order to regain their sense of balance.
Whenever you learn a new skill or sport, your proprioceptors need time to become familiar with the movements you make. By asking the children to practise balancing in different ways, you are helping them to develop their proprioceptors.
Talk to your child about some of the amazing things that sports people can do. All athletes have to practise a lot to improve their performance. Can your child get better at something if they practise too? Explain what a gymnast does, and that being able to balance well is very important.
Investigate how good the family is at balancing. Can you get better at it? Use the cut-out from the Balancing worksheet for each member of the family.
Try standing on one leg and then the other, to decide which you balance best on. Use a timer to measure how long each member of the family can stand on their chosen leg, noting times to the nearest five seconds. Write the times on the cut-outs for each member of the family.
Over a few days, encourage each other to practise balancing for as long as you can, then repeat the challenge. Who is the family balancing champion?
These resources have been adapted from Wellcome Trust's In the Zone initiative at www.getinthezone.org.uk
Under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 UK: England And Wales License you can copy, share and adapt the materials as much as you like, as long as it is not for commercial use.