The balance board is used to develop balance, motor coordination skills, weight distribution and core strength. It is also excellent to for the elderly to maintain balance and muscle tone to avoid injurious falls.
Ages: 3 and up
20" of 2�12" fir lumber "board"
2 of either 2x4, 2x6, or 2x8 by either 10" or 18" lumber "rockers"
skateboard grip tape (optional)
4 to 6 #10 3" or #10 4" wood screws
Let's make it
When doing this project be safe; read and follow the safety guidelines in your power tool manuals, measure twice, cut once, etc.
For rockers decide if you want back and forth (10") or side to side rocking (18") or make one board of each. The greater the height to length of the rocker, the greater the rocking motion. Mark a curved line on the two rocker lumber using a string and pencil or 5 gallon bucket. Cut the two rocker lumber into curved pieces with a jigsaw or bandsaw. Sand curved pieces smooth. Clamp together the two curved pieces evenly and sand them until they are equally shaped and smooth. Tap screw holes with at least 1/4" countersink as indicated so the screws do not interfer with rocking. Round off corners of 2X12X18 board, and sand smooth. Attach rockers to bottom side of main board with wood glue and screws 2" from either edge.
Start with 18" 2x4, and increase rocking extent as child gains skill. Start by holding your child's hand, then move to table or chair support, then no support but crash pad or bean bag chairs for safe falls. Your child's body must stay balanced enough to keep the board's edges from touching the ground and to keep from falling off the board.
Here are some ideas:
Wobble forward and backward or side to side.
Try with your eyes closed.
Stand on one leg. (carefully!)
Balance a book on your head while wobbling.
Try all of the above (very carefully!)
Play catch with someone while standing on the wobble board.
Time yourself to see how long you can keep your balance without an edge touching the floor.