For many kids, balancing things on top of their head is a fun game. Sometimes it’s a part of a relay race, or maybe it’s a contest you have at home with your family. But for other kids, balancing things on their head is an important skill.
In many areas of the world, people don’t have running water at home. This means that everyone must pitch in and carry water from a pump, well, or river. When you have to carry all the water you need for cooking, cleaning, and bathing, you never want to waste a single drop.
Out of necessity, many households have an important rule: never leave the house without a container, and always bring it home full of water. Even young children are expected to do their part. As the children get older and stronger the container gets bigger so that they can carry even more.
Once the boys and girls learn to balance containers, bundles of firewood, or baskets of fruit and vegetables on their head, they can do other things at the same time. They can ride a bike, run, or even do chores, all without dropping anything.
Here are a few simple steps to learn how to balance things on your head.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed over your legs.
- Loosen your shoulders by rolling them back a few times. Then allow your shoulders to drop and let your chest rise.
- Make sure your head is centered between your shoulders. Don’t let your chin jut out or let your head tilt to one side. Keep your neck, spine, and head properly aligned.
- Keep your head level by looking straight ahead so that your eyes make an imaginary line to the walls around you.
- Lift whatever object you wish to balance onto your head, making sure that the center of the object’s weight is aligned with the crown of your head. You should be able to feel when it is correctly in place.
- Carefully remove your hands so that only your head is supporting the object.
- Keep practicing until your balancing posture feels natural.
- Soon you will be able to walk and talk while balancing all kinds of things on your head.
- Practice with something flat, like a book.
- Then try to balance other objects such as a bowl or basket.
- Never try to balance expensive or breakable objects on your head.
- Practice carrying water outside, not inside the house.
- Don’t try to balance anything that is too heavy or could cause neck or shoulder strain.
- You could also try placing a small folded towel or washcloth on your head, then the object on top of that.
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Information supplied by Nancy Kyte