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Test your balance at children’s museum

Test your balance at children’s museum

Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011 8:02 pm

Balance isn’t just an act. From teetering toddlers to tightrope walkers, balance is something people use in their everyday lives.
Children and their families can expand their understanding of balance — and learn how to practice and improve it — in Balancing Act, a children’s traveling exhibit that will be at The Children’s Museum of Memphis through Jan. 15, 2012.
The interactive exhibit focuses on the physical nature of balance and the body systems that work together to achieve that balance. Through a variety of challenge activities, such as balance beams, bridges and balance boards, you can get into the act and test your sense of balance in a fun, playful environment.
Guiding participants through Balancing Act is “Level,” a sculptural balancing buddy made from cubes and boxes. This level-headed character demonstrates how prevalent balance is in everyday lives and how the body and brain work together to help maintain that balance.
As participants enter Balancing Act, they may first be drawn to the Balance Bridge. Participants should try to keep from rocking as they navigate down the center of the bridge. The more guests on the bridge at one time, the more movement that will be experienced. Then they can test their skills on a “teeter totter” in the Balance Board Challenge. Participants will learn how their body systems work together to enable skateboarders, surfers and others to maintain and master balance.
The exhibit’s Balance Circus station shows how the body systems work together to achieve balance. Here participants find props to balance on various parts of their bodies: balancing birds, juggling blocks, bean bags and balancing egg heads. Very young guests also have an opportunity to balance on the Infant Barre.
Other components, such as the Balance Beam, Stepping Stones and Wavy Beam, challenge participants to adjust their body and control their center of gravity as they navigate the various obstacle courses.
Demonstrating balance-related concepts is just one goal of the 1,200-square-foot exhibit. Balancing Act also aims to reinforce the idea that balance can be practiced and improved. Participants will find out how long they can stay balanced on the swiveling and shifting Balance Timer. If they try it more than once, they can see if they can improve their time with practice.
Participants can experiment with balancing different objects on the Balance Scale. They can see how high they can stack blocks on a shifting table top before it topples over on the Tippy Table. Then they can take some tops for a spin in Spinning Tops and discover the secrets behind twirling ballerinas and rotating ice skaters.
Balancing Act was created by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The exhibit is presented in English and Spanish.
The exhibit is included with museum admission. For more information, visit cmom.com.

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