Slacklining is a perfect way for kids of all ages to hone balancing skills while building core strength and confidence. My son received a slackline as a gift this past Christmas and we’ve had so much fun using it these last few months. Slacklining is one of my kids’ favorite backyard activities and I’m blown away by how much time they spend on it daily, balancing, bouncing and playing games.
What is a slackline?
A slackline is a two-inch-wide nylon webbing strip with a ratchet tensioning system. Some slacklines have a bit of a rubber coating to make learning to balance on it easier. Most slacklines attach easily to trees with no additional tools or rigging needed. Some come with an extra training line (help line) to hold on to from above, which is great for beginners and helps encourage the correct arm position.Some also include protective tree pads, instruction manuals and a carrying bag. You can get them in a variety of lengths and a beginner kit ranges from $25 – $45. This ERGO Slackline Kit comes with everything you need to get started at a very affordable price point.
Benefits of slacklining
Kids absolutely love slacklines – they incorporate so many of the things kids find fun: balance, falling, bouncing, physical challenge. Slacklining helps build their core strength and balance, improves focus and confidence and is a total body workout. It also get kids outside and keeps them active!
- Develops balance
- Improves core strength
- Total body workout
- Improves stability muscles
- Rehabilitation and injury prevention
- Improves focus
- Develops coordination
- Gets you outside
Perfect for backyards
Slacklining can be done anywhere, which is another reason why it is becoming so popular! All you need is a slackline and a couple trees or posts. You can easily put up a slackline in your own backyard, at the park or on a camping trip. The slackline is tethered to two trees like a tightrope, but is flat, stretchy and bouncy. Most slacklines are very long, so you can ratchet the line to fit any distance. If you don’t have two trees, you can use posts or even purchase a portable slackline rack.
Tips for beginner slackliners:
- Position the slackline very low to the ground so kids won’t get hurt if they fall off
- Ratchet the slackline as tight as possible
- Keep your eyes up and not looking down at your feet
- Start by balancing on one leg at a time (count to 100 then switch)
- Learn to balance on each foot before starting to walk
- Go barefoot to help with grip
- To minimize the bounce, have an adult sit on one end of the line
Take it up a notch
Surprising to me, there’s actually a lot of things you can do on a slackline. In addition to the obvious walking across it, you can balance on one foot, walk sideways, walk backwards, bounce on it, do turns, sit on it or jump onto it. The possibilities are endless. My kids also like to time each other and see who can walk across the fastest and who can balance on one leg the longest. Once children gain confidence on the slackline, they can try teaching themselves slackline stunts or raise the slackline higher, to make it harder to balance.