Standing on one leg challenge

Being able to stand on one leg is one of those skills  that children really value. If approached in a way that allows for success and a way to measure progress most children are willing to spend time practicing to improve their level of skill.

What a child should be able to do 

Stand one leg 4 year pattern.jpgAt 4-5 years a child can  usually stand on one leg for a few seconds at a time. 

He/she does not keep the trunk steady but uses arm movements sideways trunk movements to maintain balance.

st one leg tip trunk.jpg

A 5-6 years a child should be  able to stand on one leg for up to 10s. 

At this age the child still uses arm and sideways trunk movements to maintain balance, but is starting to use small foot movements to balance. 

stand one leg.jpg At 6-7 years a  child should be able to stand steady on one leg for 10s, keeping the trunk steady and using small movements at the ankle to keep balance.  

 At 8-9 years children start to be able to stand on one leg with the eyes closed. 

Here's the challenge

Below is a description of standing on one leg tasks of increasing levels of difficulty.   

Follow the instructions for  assessing each task. If the child succeeds move on to the next level. If your child has difficulties practice the task until the child succeeds.  Then move on to the next level. Do the task on the left and right legs.

Stand one leg support foot  on box_1.jpgStand on one leg with the left foot supported on a 20 cm high box and the right arm lightly touching a table to the right. 

Hold this position for 10 slow counts keeping the trunk erect. 

Training instructions  

Stand one foot on box.jpgStand on the right  leg with left leg foot supported on a box.

Hold this position, keeping the trunk upright for 10 slow counts. 


stand one leg support.jpgStand facing a wall. Lightly touch the wall with the fingers.

Lift the right leg and stay in this position for 10 slow counts.  


stand one leg_1.jpg

Stand on one leg, keeping the trunk erect and hold the position for 10 slow counts.



tree pose modified_1.jpgStand on one leg and lift  arms high for 10 slow counts 
stand one leg eyes closed.jpgStand on one leg with eyes closed for 10 slow counts 

Training tips 

  1. Read the page on motivating your child 
  2. Set aside 10 minutes a day to work on these tasks. Stick to your commitment to make time for a training session every day. 
  3. Decide with your child which tasks you will practice. Choose just 2 or 3 training tasks. 
  4. Decide what your final goals will be for the day. What level of skill do you think can be achieved?
  5. Start practicing tasks that your child can do successfully. 
  6. Provide your child with immediate brief rewards for each successful attempt - this will keep him/her motivated.
  7. Don't praise unsuccessful attempts - be neutral. Remember that negative feedback may cause a negative emotional response. 
Subscribe to the SfA Fitness and Coordination Training Guide 
For more detailed instructions for this and other training activities