motor skills

Developing Motor Skills - how to help your child with Balancing

NHS GrampianThe information on this page is also available to download:


Balance is important for every activity we do from walking and running around to sitting at a table using our hands. Every child’s balance skills vary so start with simple activities that your child can manage and build up to harder activities as their confidence grows.

Balancing whilst staying still

  • this encourages children to maintain any position
  • allow your child to sit on a space hopper or gym ball whilst watching TV or playing a game at a tablestanding on one foot
  • stand on one foot – encourage child to use arms to help or use the back of a chair to start
  • stop a rolling ball by placing a foot on top of it
  • throw and catch a ball whilst standing with one foot on a box
  • work above shoulder level, painting on an easel, chalkboard or cleaning windows
  • provide a rocking chair to help get used to moving if a bit wary

Balance when moving

  • this encourages children to maintain balance when moving
  • walking in a straight line, along a curved or wavy line progressing to heel toe walking and walking backwards
  • you could try this walking on different parts of the feet, for example, heels or tip toes or with eyes closed
  • walking with bean bag balanced on head
  • walking along stepping stones, for example, using carpet squares, coloured paper shapes or hoops.  Vary the distance and direction of the stepping stones as confidence grows
  • jumping on a bed or trampoline
  • encourage walking up or down the stairs one foot per step
  • practice hopping with 2 hands held, then on back of a chair, then one hand, one finger until help is not needed for support
  • try hopping along a marked line or row of chalked feet
  • try the walking activities using jumping and hopping instead

Outside activities
skipping nhs

  • rolling down a slope
  • skipping  along
  • spinning and twirling around in circles
  • push a bike along with your feet
  • skipping with a rope

Playpark activities

  • swings
  • roundabout
  • climbing frames and adventure equipment
  • see saws
  • sliding down slide on tummy, back or sitting


  • musical statues/bumps
  • twister
  • bunny hops
  • crawling races
  • wheelbarrow races
  • mini stilts
  • playing with moon boots or wobble boards
  • bouncy castles