Last Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Improving balancing skills – second level

What is this?

This learning activity involves children practising balancing and improving their skills by reflecting on their performance. It is intended to support teachers and practitioners to plan learning experiences for children in their usual setting or while they are learning at home.

As well as taking account of national and local guidance relating to Covid-19, the activity should be used or adapted accordingly to consider the range of learners and their prior knowledge and individual circumstances in relation to this learning experience.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Experiences and Outcomes:  second level

I practise, consolidate and refine my skills to improve my performance. HWB 2-22a                                  

By reflecting on my own and others’ work and evaluating it against shared criteria, I can recognise improvement and achievement and use this to progress further. HWB 2-24a

Purpose of the activity

Children will use different body parts and adopt a variety of body positions to practise balancing. They will explain and demonstrate how to make balances more stable by reflecting on their own or others’ performances. 

Learning activity

Introduce the activity by discussing with children what balancing means. For example, making sure the weight of something is evenly distributed over a base so that it does not fall over. Discuss with children why being able to balance is an important skill.

Invite children to explore different body positions and to balance for three seconds in each. For example:

  • lying on their back in a star shape on the floor
  • lying on their side
  • balancing on hands and knees
  • balancing with two hands and two feet touching the ground
  • balancing with one hand and one foot touching the ground
  • standing on one foot

Ask children which balancing positions they found easy and which they found more difficult. Why do they think this was? Invite children to think about things which can help people to balance better. For example:

  • the more points of contact and the greater the surface area in touch with the ground, the easier it is to balance
  • keeping your eyes open and looking straight ahead
  • keeping your head very still
  • a wider base of support is easier to balance on than a narrow one.

Invite children to perform some more balances of their own choice, using a variety of body parts. As they practise, ask them to think about how well they are balancing by reflecting on the points above. They can do this individually or while working with another person.

Extension activity

You could ask children to practise performing balances with another person. For example, with feet together and holding hands they could try to extend their arms and keep a balance together. Ask them to think about how to make each balance as stable as they can.

National Benchmarks

  • Is internally aware of body parts and adopts body positions effectively in a variety of challenging situations.
  • Shows postural control when performing physical actions
    with accuracy.
  • Explains and demonstrates how to make a balance more stable.
  • Self-assesses and acts as a peer assessor to provide constructive feedback to improve performance.

Possible approach to assessing learning

As practitioners, you know your children well and can alter the expectations of outcomes for individuals in line with the Benchmarks. You can look at ways to review or discuss children’s work and provide feedback occasionally to help move learning forward.  

Some children may want to present their work to the class, others may prefer to share this only with yourself. They may wish to add/upload photos or a record of their work to their learning journal, possibly online. This will give you the opportunity to provide feedback and next steps. 

In this activity you could invite children to demonstrate different balances, either on their own or with another person. You might ask them to explain their understanding of how to make balances more stable.

When planning your approach to assessing learning, please take account of the latest guidance on assessment approaches.

Resource subject Health and wellbeing
Resource type Learning activity
Resource format Webpage