This week during some of our ‘Fit-tastic for School’ school readiness sessions, we’ve been playing with balloons. Children can have fun and develop some important skills just using a balloon.
Balloons obviously move at a much slower pace than a ball so it can be useful in helping children to develop hand eye co-ordination and build confidence in their catching skills. One of the games we’ve been playing is trying to keep a balloon in the air for as long as possible using different parts of their body. This works on many skills including balance and co-ordination as well as body awareness. Using a foot or knee to keep a balloon off the ground for as long as possible, is good for developing balance skills too, as the child has to stand on one leg to play the game. Both balance and co-ordination are skills that are important for everyday tasks at home and at school such as tying shoe laces, using scissors and catching a ball. Being able to follow a balloon with the eyes as it moves through the air, also helps to develop visual tracking skills, which is important in helping children prepare for reading and being able to follow words across a page. Playing with your child and a balloon is a cheap and easy way to help your child develop skills they need for everyday life, build confidence and have fun together at the same time!