Making Bridges

Making Bridges

Activity Four
In pairs, one child supports the other to create a balance.
Activity Information
  • Skill Focus
    • Static Balance
  • Equipment
    • No Equipment Required
  • Group Type
    • Pairs
    • Special Needs
  • Activity Type
    • Body Positions
    • Balancing
    • Challenge
  • Environment
    • Indoors
    • Outdoors
  • Space Allocation
    • Extra Small Space
    • Small Space
  • Special Needs
    • Able-Bodied
  • Physical Benefits
    • Balance
    • Core Strength
    • Body Awareness
    • Gross Motor Skills
  • Key Language
    • Arms
    • Feet
    • Body
    • Hands
    • Floor
    • Toes
    • Straight
    • Shoulders

Activity Progressions and Adjustments

Beginners  The children may need more supervision and assistance to achieve the balance. Have the children pretend to make bridges with their bodies to incorporate some pretend play.

Intermediate  Encourage feet together and strong lower backs throughout the balance.

Advanced  Have the children try to hold the balance for ten seconds keeping the correct straight and strong body position.

Special Needs  If a child has weak core body strength, supporting another child’s legs may be challenging. Alleviate the weight of the legs by assisting with holding them up, so the full weight is not on the back of the other child.

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First have the children practice a front support position or press-up position. In this position the arms and feet supporting the body the hands must be shoulder-width apart on the floor with the arms straight. The head, body and legs should form a straight line from the shoulders down to the toes.

Once you are satisfied that all the children understand this position, have them find a partner of similar size and body weight.

With your guidance, have two children demonstrate how to create the balance.

Have one child do the front support position on the floor with the feet apart to help gain better balance.

The other child does the front support position at a 90-degree angle to the other and places one foot at a time on the partner’s back, toes pointed. Be sure that only the foot part is resting on the back.

The pairs must hold this position for five to ten seconds and then change so the other has a turn at supporting the legs of the partner.

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Safety Precautions

The children must take care when placing their feet on their partner’s back to prevent the other person from being kicked.

The supporting person must have a rounded upper back to provide a stronger position for supporting the legs.

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Sensory and Cognitive Benefits

Vestibular-Cerebellum  Stimulation of the neural networks in the cerebellum (balance center in the brain).

Proprioception  Stimulation of muscle and joint receptors responsible for body and spatial awareness.

Differentiation  Conscious control of moving only one part of the body while other limbs remain still.

Visual-Motor Integration  Is required to move the legs appropriately and land them on the partner’s back.

Social Skills  Cooperation and turn-taking are put into practice.

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