Toddlers need plenty of balance practice once they are up and walking. Each of the three semi-circular canals in the inner ear respond to movement in different planes. Types of movement enjoyed by toddlers and young children that help train the balance mechanism or vestibular system include:
BOING... up and down movement on the vertical axis such as being bounced on the knee, being lifted up an down in the air or tossed high in the air, bouncing on the bed, hanging upside down, climbing and jumping off, hopping, skipping and jumping, playing on a see saw, going on a bouncy castle, small trampoline or soft play shape. For more ideas, you can download the Top Ten Ways To Boing This Weekend.
WHOOOSH... to and fro movement such as being rocked side to side, rocking forwards and backwards on hands and knees, running, starting and stopping, swinging, going on a zip wire, using bikes, scooters and slides, sliding down stairs on your bottom. For more ideas, you can download the Top Ten Ways To Whoosh This Weekend.
ROLY POLY...movement where the body rotates such as being twirled around, rolling over, spinning round on your bottom, spinning around a pole, dancing, rolling down a hill and doing somersaults. For more ideas, you can download the Top Ten Ways To Roly Poly This Weekend.
It is worth mentioning that children do not get as dizzy as adults fear they will as the vestibular fluid in the inner ear is thinner. Children often want to do more than they are able to, so need support and encouragement, but protection from danger.
To download further ideas of what children and adults can do to engage toddlers in fun and creative play, you can download the practical guide.