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Building Better Brains with Bean Bag Balance

Are you looking for an active game to keep your preschooler learning at home during quarantine? How about bean bag balance?! Bean bag play and similar exercise games for kids help build better brains because learning through whole body movements help children build neural connections. Check this out! If bean bags are not available, you can always roll up a large sock in the same shape of a bean bag, or make your own bean bag. The Inspired Home has a handy tutorial! 

Learning targets include following directions and moving safely, using body parts to maintain balance, and using coordinated movements and actions for a purpose. This preschool game is therapist and PE teacher approved!

The purpose of this activity is to provide children an opportunity to explore balance using a bean bag. This game can be played indoors (if spacing between children is safe) or outdoors. 

To play the game, each child is given a bean bag and should spread out to create their own personal space (approximately 2 feet apart). While facing you, children are encouraged to listen to the prompts and balance bean bags on different body parts. If directing younger children or children with special needs, you will need to balance your bean bag on your body parts so they can watch and imitate you. Body part suggestions for younger preschool age children include head, arm, and leg.  Body part suggestions for older children can get more specific such as shoulder, wrist, elbow, 3 fingers, thumb, knee, foot, belly, or back. Next, challenge children to move safely in their space by twisting, bending, extending, walking, or marching while keeping the bean bag balanced on different body parts. Lastly, take-turns allowing children to be self-directed and choose the body part and the movement they will use when balancing their bean bag. 

This activity is designed to be played for approximately ten minutes but this is a guideline. If your child is enjoying themselves, please don’t stop the fun! Bean Bag Balance is just one of the many FREE resources available at OPENPhysed.org.

Want to boost the bean bag fun? How about adding music! Music and movement instruction has been shown to improve memory, cognitive development, learning skills, and cooperative group learning. The ABC’s of Movement Music Album takes your lesson to the next level of fun!

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