Wooden balance beams are kid-tested and parent-approved! They improve balance, boost body awareness, and provide a healthy outlet for exercise.
Get ready for a well-balanced comparison and review of the best wooden balance beams for toddlers and kids.
You’ll learn the difference between two-way balance beams and modular balance beams — and which is better.
No, we’re not talking about balance boards.
Today we’re all about the straight and narrow — top-quality kids balance beams.
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In a hurry?
How to choose the best balance beam for your child? Here’s a fast-track summary of what to look for.
For toddlers ages 2 to 3 who are new to walking, look for a modular wooden balance beam with segments that can be set up into different patterns each time. Pick one that’s low to the ground for added safety.
For kids ages 4 to 6 with more advanced motor skills, I recommend a balance beam that is larger and higher up. Especially if your child is training for gymnastics or dance, think about skipping the Montessori-style play beams and go straight for children’s sized professional gymnastics beams.
Here are my top picks!
- Shop Joey Co Modular Wooden Balance Beam (Best For Toddlers)
- Lily & River Little Gymnast (Best For Beginner Gymnastics)
- Wiwiurka Montessori Balance Beam (Most Eco-Friendly)
- Constructive Playthings Two-Way Wooden Balance Beam (Best For Outside Use)
- Wooden Balance Rainbow Balance Beam (Most Beautiful Colors)
Top 3 Balance Beam Benefits
Your child will build core strength and improve their ability to balance their bodies. Balance is an essential skill for nearly all athletics. It’s a very important aspect of your toddler’s overall gross motor skills. Not to mention the boost in self-confidence that comes from learning to move your body.
(B) Body Awareness
Beyond balance and gross motor — Practice makes perfect. The more your child plays walks on their balance beam, the more your child gets acquainted with their bodies. Balance beams encourage flexibility and coordination — so your child will explore their body’s capabilities and limits.
(C) Active Play
Kids need exercise! With flashy smartphone screens to play with, children are as sedentary as ever. Routine exercise is a healthy habit that’s worth learning early in life. Balance beams can be used both indoors and outdoors to keep your kid moving in the daytime and have a peaceful sleep at night.
(01) Best Balance Beam For Toddlers: Shop Joey Co
If you’ve never seen a modular balance beam before — you are in for a treat!
With multiple segments that can be arranged straight or made into a zig-zag, modular means more creative combinations!
It also means easy storage. Simply disassemble the segments, bundle them up, and pack them away.
Shop Joey Co brand’s toddler-perfect wooden balance beam has five 24 inch segments.
It’s foldable for small play spaces, but laid out straight, it measures 10 feet long!
Standing just 3/4 inch off the ground, it’s designed low to the ground for toddler safety.
Made from premium pine wood with scratch-free rounded edges, Shop Joey Co’s adjustable balance beam can support children of all ages and sizes — but is ideal for new walkers.
(02) Best for Beginner Gymnastics: Lily & River
Lily & River brand’s Little Gymnast is an off-ground indoor wooden balance beam for ages 18 months to 8 years.
With three sturdy columns, it’s ideal for use on a flat indoor surface where your child will have a blast learning to step, balance, and repeat!
At nearly 60 inches (5 feet) long it’ll easily fit into most indoor playrooms. Make sure before you buy!
Its low beam is 6 inches off the ground, which makes it a wonderful stepping-stone before gymnastics track toddlers graduate to an on-ground kids gymnastics balance beam, like Tumbl Trak Floor Balance Beam (4 foot).
A competition-standard professional gymnastics beam is 16 feet long, so these 8 and 4 feet long beams are a more reasonable size for at-home use.
You’ll notice how 16 is divisible by 8 and 4 feet. That’s intentional so that the smaller balance beams your kid practices on will naturally transfer to the full-length professional balance beam.
Of course, you’ll need to choose a balance beam that fits into the space you have available.
(03) Premium Montessori Balance Beam: Wiwiurka
Here’s a top-shelf Montessori balance beam — from Wiwiurka the company that took Pikler triangle color palettes to the next level.
Wiwiurka is an eco-friendly company out of Mexico that creates Montessori solutions for your home. Their all-natural wooden play equipment is as kid-friendly as it is environmentally friendly.
The only problem might be the price. Wiwiurka chooses to hand-make all their toys using sustainable materials and manufacturing methods — a premium product with a premium price tag.
The parts are made from premium-grade pine wood — sanded smooth for safety and delivered 100% natural and unfinished. It’s designed for toddlers and kids, but sturdy enough for adults to stand on too.
Their handmade Montessori balance beam is designed modular with four 30 inch beams and 5 connector platforms. It’ll fit nicely into your Montessori home no matter the size.
(04) Best Outdoor Balance Beam: Constructive Playthings
All balance beams can be used outside, but most are intended for indoor use. It’s best to use it on the lawn (not a hard surface) and store it in a dry place indoors when not in use.
For a backyard-ready balance beam, look for one raised off the ground with just two ends.
This way, if your lawn isn’t exactly level, the two-way balance beam will stand sturdy raised above the grass.
Constructive Playthings two-way children’s balance beam is perfect for outside play. It’s raised 6 inches off the ground, made of solid hard maple wood, and has rounded edges to prevent injury.
Best for ages 3 years and up, it’s an excellent choice for summertime outdoor gymnastics and fun.
Of course, it can be played indoors too.
For toddlers on the gymnastics track, Constructive Plaything’s off-ground balance beam is a good first step practice pad before they’re ready for a full-sized kids gymnastics balance beam, like Tumbl Trak brand’s Addie Beam (8 feet).
(05) Rainbow Balance Beam: Wooden Balance
Love the versatile modular style, but craving some color in your playroom?
Here’s a wooden rainbow balance beam that lets your child set out different patterns every time!
Wooden Balance brand’s wooden rainbow balance beam is available in both primary and pastel color palettes — adding a splash of color into the room.
Modular like other children’s beams we’ve looked at — you can order as few or as many segments as you like, and even pick the height you want. Lower for beginner walkers and higher for more advanced kids.
Brightly colored and available for custom order — Wooden Balance brand offers a delightful shopping experience to get exactly the type of balance beam that’s right for you.
Balance Beam 101: What It Is & How To Use
What Is A Kids Balance Beam?
As America gears up for Tokyo 2022, we discover young ambitious gymnasts from all over the country following their dreams towards Olympic gold.
A balance beam is a narrow horizontal bar raised off the floor used for walking across. They were invented by Friedrich Ludwig Jahn in the 1800s, and have since become widely adopted as essential gymnastics equipment.
Competition-sized gymnastics beams measure 16 feet long, so children-sized gymnastics beams usually measure 8 or 4 feet long.
For toddler’s and kid’s playtime, smaller versions devoted to play are a fun way to develop children’s balance and motor skills.
Solid wood kids balance beams typically range from 3 to 6 feet long, where modular children’s wood balance beams typically include 2 to 6 segments each 24 to 32 inches long.
These days, it’s just as important to go eco-safe as it is to go child-safe. Today I think I demonstrated that by showcasing a range of quality wooden balance beams that check all the boxes.
Balance Beam Safety Tips
To use a balance beam with your child in your home, make sure you’ve set up a safe play environment.
The balance beam should be flat on the ground — no wobbly surfaces.
Remove sharp or hard objects from the area.
Montessori and RIE education specialists believe children should be given the freedom to explore their new balance beam on their own — that parents shouldn’t assist their child.
Parents have good intentions to help their child learn faster, but in doing so you may push your child beyond their limits. It’s best to let your child lead.
Remind children to take it slow and use their arms to try to balance themselves to maintain balance. Promote body awareness by drawing attention to how they’re using their core muscles tight to keep balance on the beam.
For added safety padding in case of a trip and fall, consider laying out toddler floor tiles.
Parental supervision is always advised.
Balance Beam Alternatives
(A) Stepping Stones
Still worried you don’t have enough space for a balance beam?
Stepping stones cover nearly identical learning objectives and play activities as a balance beam.
Balance boards and balance beams work well together in a Montessori-inspired play room. Lily & River brand makes both — and they look beautiful together!
Delightful rainbow-colored wooden circles that you place on the ground — just like stepping stones to cross a whimsical stream.
Stepping stones are low to the ground, so they’re safer than raised balance beams for beginner walkers. They’re also completely versatile! Your little one can chart out infinite different paths for limitless adventures of imagination and play.
Tottlr brand makes a near-identical budget alternative for a lower price. Worth a peek before you buy!
(B) Balance Board
Balance board vs balance beam — what’s the difference?
The balance board is a U-shaped wooden board primarily used for rocking back and forth.
The balance beam is a straight beam primarily used for walking across.
Both accelerate your child’s gross motor development and foster healthy active habits!
We wrote a full roundup review of the best wooden balance boards where you can learn more about rock’n’rolling toddlers!
Kinderfeet brand’s Kinderboard is a simple Waldorf-style balance board with quality European construction at a reasonable price.
Little Dove brand’s is a little bit more whimsical! With colorful felt bottoms to protect hard floors from scratches — they look as beautiful as they play!
(C) Pikler Triangle
We love the Pikler triangle!
It’s a “fun-damental” indoor wooden climbing toy perfect for early gross motor development.
As soon as your little one starts to crawl up onto things around the house — that’s the perfect time to get one. The Pikler triangle is climb-ready for toddlers even before they can walk.
That’s one interesting contrast with the balance beam. Pikler triangles are for climbing, and balance beams are for walking. Both complement each other in a Montessori-inspired play space.
We reviewed the best Pikler triangles for you to see what’s available.
Wood Grain Lab brand is a great place to start.
Here’s to a well-balanced review!
You’re all set to decide which kind of balance is best for your family.
We looked at the best by age, and some lifestyle picks to love! Balance beams improve balance, boost body awareness, and provide a healthy outlet for exercise.
I’d love to hear where your journey ends. Let me know in the comments below!