Homemade Balance Beam Indoor Activity
Hone your kid's gymnastics skills in the comfort of your living room.
- Books:Five phone books or encyclopedias (remember those?) will work for younger kids. The Harry Potter series, containers, bins or even a bunch of 28-ounce cans will work for older kids.
- A gymnast:Your kid
- A video camera:Optional, but do you really want to miss capturing the start of your kid's road to greatness?
- Make a "balance beam" by getting your kid to line up the phone books or cans in a straight line on the floor. She can make a straight beam, like in the Olympics, or she can get crazy and make a zigzag beam.
- Warm up your gymnast. Lead her in a few stretches to limber up her muscles. (Get in a few crunches while you're at it. Who needs that gym membership anyway?)
- Introduce her performance and let her start walking the beam, one foot in front of the other.
- For an especially astute gymnast, you can add a few tricks: a pirouette, a jump or a one-legged stance. Don't forget the big dismount!
- Get out the video camera and capture her acrobatics for eternity—a balance beam performance video will make for great entertainment at her graduation party.
- As she gets better, consider using smaller books or cans to make a thinner beam. Try lining up all those old pregnancy and baby books or, when she's really good, use that boxful of chick lit you've been collecting since college!