Suggested Family Activity • Ball Games
Today, we have a fun game for all ages and all you need is a ball. You play it by grabbing a large (but lightweight) ball and tossing it in the air. Before you catch it on its way down, clap your hands one time. Then the next time you throw it up in the air, clap your hands two times. Keep playing, adding one clap each time you toss the ball in the air. How many claps can you get in before dropping the ball? This game is great because it can be played by one person or with several people by taking turns. It can be modified for very young children by having someone throw the ball to them instead of them having to throw it up into the air themselves. You can even have a family competition to see who can get to the highest number without dropping the ball. After they have mastered the large, lightweight ball, try doing the game with smaller sized balls. Is it easier? Harder? What about a heavier ball such as a soccer ball, football or basketball? Having children guess what they think will happen and then testing whether they are right or wrong is a great way to turn this game into a STEM activity.
Very young children will benefit in several ways from this simple game. Doing a clapping motion with their hands improves the flexibility in their hands and wrists, which helps get them ready for the manual dexterity needed to hold a pencil or crayon to learn to write. Catching the ball will also help develop their hand-eye coordination, another very important life skill.
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