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Balance Training "Toy," Kids and Fun

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
What's the best balance training "toy" out there for kids?

I have an athletic seven-and-a-half year old daughter and since she and her friends like to endlessly challenge one another when they're stuck indoors on rainy days I thought a balance/proprioception device might offer hours of useful fun. I also have a three-and-a-half year old daughter who could slowly start to benefit from such a thing.

Of course, I could also use it with dumbells and all the furious seriousness of a middle-aged guy...but I really want to get it for the kids to use without weights.

But what's best for kids and why? BOSU, balance board (same as wobble board?), Versa discs, Bongo boards etc. etc. There are so many different ones out there....

Thanks in advance,

post #2 of 5
1. Cheapest and easiest (especially for storage): Foam roller. But it only gets interesting to the kids if you use it. So use it. (Daron Rahlves has a great exercise in one or the more recent online Ski or skiing magazines, standing on one leg on a foam roller and then doing alternating lateral extensions to the side with dumbells.) (They've got all the things I describe here at places like JumpUSA and Fitter1 online.)

2. Most versatile: Physio ball/fitness ball. My son uses his as a chair at the computer and gets core/balance training while he does homework, and it cuts down on his fidgeting. The more I get into this stuff, the more uses I find for mine, in core/balance training.

3. Fun, and easier than a bongo board: Bosu. I don't actually have one at home, so I don't know how big a draw it would be for the kids, but I use one at the gym.

4. Harder than a bosu: Bongo board. I use it all the time. My kids never touch it.

5. Harder than a bongo board: A wobble board (at least the one I have.) The kids tried it, but it's so hard, it wasn't really fun--they didn't really get a sense of accomplishment or progress.

Happy skiing and parenting,

post #3 of 5
We bought a BOSU for the parents (us!) and I'm pretty sure the kids use it more than we do.

They have just the slightest inkling that its for "training", but in their eyes, its just plain fun! Even the goofiest of their friends loves jumping and standing on it. One of my kids has even gotten out a pair of ski poles and has taken to using them for pole planting while he jumps laterally with a big FUN bounce in the middle !

They're learning all kinds of skills and balance while watching SpongeBob, go figure. They think its a blast.

Have fun!
post #4 of 5

PiVit for xmas

I got my 8 yr old a PiVit for xmas as a temporary substitute for the roller blades she really asked for. Told her that she can't roller blade in the snow in our hilly neighborhood anyway, so she can use this to build up her balance skills until spring. (Also has NOTHING to do with the fact that mom can use it too, to improve her knee proprioception and ski balance )

So far it's a hit with 2 of the 3 kids.
post #5 of 5
Can you Jump rope in your house? Lots of leg strength can be gained that way.
And they will not think of it as training as it is a fun, challenging game.

Of course the best is to take them to a Virtual Snow studio and play on that trainer. My sons' Cub Scout troop did an outing to the one where I live. They have them in NY and Michigan and Tahoe and Los Angeles. www.VirtualSnowLA.com

Good luck getting a small kid to work up the sweat needed to build muscle.

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