Rolling and Hopping and Dancing, Oh My! 4 Moves to Help Your Toddler Develop Their Coordination

As your baby develops from a scooter to a crawler, a crawler to a cruiser, and a cruiser to a walker, it’s normal to watch them fall and get back up over and over again. While stumbling, falling, and bumping are all normal behaviors for toddlers and young children there are some things you can do to help them develop the coordination they’ll need to learn to move through the world without quite so many bumps and bruises. Check out the moves below that you can practice at home that will help your child develop their coordination.

coordination
Image via Unsplash/ Gabby Orcutt

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Standing on one foot

While most toddlers won’t be able to stand on one foot for some time after they start walking, you can help them begin to develop their balance by holding both of their hands and encouraging them to practice standing on one foot. You can make this activity fun by asking your little one to copy you while you stand on one foot or hop from foot to foot.

Balancing on a ‘balance beam’

Most people don’t have a balance beam ready for practice in their home. Most people do have tape or string though. Either can be used to create a line on the floor that your babe can practice ‘balancing’ on. To create your makeshift balance beam simply stretch a piece of tape, string, or ribbon in a straight line across the floor and demonstrate for your little one how to walk the line with one foot in front of the other.

Rolling

While it might seem counter-intuitive that rolling across the floor will help your babe learn to balance and walk with greater ease, rolling engages many of the core muscles your child needs to balance. Don’t be surprised if your little one has trouble rolling in a straight line when you introduce the skill, it can often take them time to develop the muscle strength and coordination they’ll need to roll effectively. But each time they practice they’ll be getting stronger and more coordinated!

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Jumping

Many kids can’t jump with both feet off the floor until after their second birthday. While this skill often comes well after walking, jumping around can help your babe become steadier on their feet when they’re walking or standing still. If you want to encourage your little one to develop balance through jumping all you’ll need to do is put on some good music and let them watch you jump and groove – they’ll join in in no time!

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Rolling and Hopping and Dancing, Oh My! 4 Moves to Help Your Toddler Develop Their Coordination

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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