Which balance beam for kids is best?
A balance beam is an excellent, fun way for kids to improve their coordination, whether for everyday balance or if they’re taking their first steps toward gymnastic competitions. However, not every balance beam is right for every kid. For example, a gymnastics hopeful should have a competition-ready bar that the youngest kids might struggle on.
The best balance beam for kids is the Milliard Adjustable Balance Beam. Its lowest setting is perfect for any age, and it’s easy to raise the bar later.
What to know before you buy a balance beam for kids
Balance beams for kids always begin resting on the floor, typically with beam heights not exceeding 4 inches. Once your child has grown taller and improved their skills, you can consider a beam that’s on legs and 6-12 inches off the floor. Older children with plenty of experience on a balance beam can use beams as high as 24 inches. Anything higher than this is used for competitions among the most experienced teenagers and adults.
Balance beams for kids typically come in lengths of 4, 6 or 8 feet. Keep to beams of 4 or 6 feet for casual use by the youngest kids and especially for use at home. Beams 8 feet long are better for kids starting to get into gymnastics; just make sure you have the necessary space.
For reference, official competition balance beams are 16 feet long.
Balance beams for kids come in a wide range of colors. Purple, tan and blue are some of the most common for standard beams, while plastic beams often come in a rainbow of bright colors. It shouldn’t be difficult to find one that matches your child’s favorite color.
What to look for in a quality balance beam for kids
A balance beam’s core material affects what level of gymnastics your child can perform.
- Plastic is common in balance beams aimed at those who’ve only recently learned to walk. It’s usually not sturdy enough to handle much more than 100 pounds. Many plastic beams come in pieces rather than as a whole, so you can adjust the challenge to the child or create funky shapes and courses to keep them entertained.
- Foam is common for beginner gymnastics. It’s just sturdy enough to provide some give, but soft enough not to hurt if the child falls. It also tends to cost less than wood or metal.
- Wood and metal are best for children who are ready to step up their game. They provide the best support and strength but also include a thin layer of foam for a little protection.
Children grow fast, which is why the best balance beams for kids let you adjust their heights. Some may only have one or two settings above floor height while others have multiple.
How much you can expect to spend on a balance beam for kids
They can cost as little as $30 or as much as $200-plus. Small, basic beams rarely cost more than $75 while the average beam costs $150-$200. Serious gymnastic beams for kids typically start around $200.
Balance beam for kids FAQ
What exactly does a balance beam for kids improve?
A. It improves your child’s coordination and core strength, with their balance improving as a result.
Why do most balance beams use suede covers?
A. Suede, either natural or synthetic, is typically thick and offers some extra grip for a gymnast. It’s also more durable.
How old should my child be before they start ‘professional’ gymnastics?
A. Every child is different. One might have a natural aptitude and be ready by as young as 4 or 5, while another child might need more time to mature and get the basics down. Regardless, there are plenty of classes available for children of all ages that teach those basics as long as they can comfortably walk. Remember to take your child’s interests and abilities into account when signing them up.
What’s the best balance beam for kids to buy?
Top balance beam for kids
What you need to know: The adjustable height lets it grow alongside your child’s skills and age.
What you’ll love: It’s 8 by 4 inches with five height settings between 7-24 inches. The legs are made of steel for durability and have anti-slip feet to keep them steady. The padded suede beam with a wooden core is competition grade.
What you should consider: A few consumers reported the 24-inch height setting as a little wobbly. Others reported the suede to be a little slippery.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top balance beam for kids for the money
What you need to know: This balance beam is great for teaching the youngest kids a little balance.
What you’ll love: It’s made up of six connected “stepping stones” that measure 21 by 6 by 4 inches. They are lightweight with a rubberized base, plus the entire stretch can be made easier or harder by moving the logs closer together or farther apart.
What you should consider: Only six stepping stones are included. You will need to buy more if you want a longer balance beam.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These pieces let you create your own balance beam shapes.
What you’ll love: The set includes eight straight pieces, 18 curved ones and one cross-section. Every piece is connectable so you can make long, winding squiggly beams, a simple straight, circles and a figure 8. The pieces can hold up to 110 pounds.
What you should consider: Putting all the pieces together and taking them apart each time can be a hassle. The pieces take up a large amount of storage space.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.