Trying to find active, fun things to do with the kids can prove tricky, especially in times like these, so I thought I’d share a couple of boredom ball games that have kept my 11 and 9 year olds busy this weekend (and most importantly off screens!)
Both activities could be adapted to suit younger children and there are so many varities to try. You can even get a bit of number and letter recognition in there and count it towards an educational activity!
Ball games are great for gross motor skills and use the whole body to make big movements. We always start with dancing our marks at Little Learners classes, because if you can do the big movements it helps when we come to try the smaller movements needed for writing.
So – yes – ball games can help children with the mechanics of writing!
Game 1 – Targets
If you have a wall, you can easily use chalk to make targets on it. Sorry the photo hasn’t come out too well, but we have circles and squares with different values from 20 to 100. My football mad son plays a game called first to 500. We kick the ball in turn against the wall and add up the score as we go. First to 500 is the winner. I am yet to beat him!! Great for number skills of addition.
Adaptations – you could use smaller numbers or even letter sounds or shapes. You could have challenges such as – first to hit ‘a’ or first to hit the square. You could also throw a ball or beanbag rather than kick.
Game 2 – Champ
We marked a 4 by 4 grid on our kitchen floor with gold tape (just because my daughter is in to sparkles!) You could use masking tape or chalk.
This can be a 2 or 4 player game. We play with all the family! So for the 4 player game, each player has 1 square. One square is allocated as ‘champ’. This player is player 1. This player starts the game. The other players are numbered 2,3,and 4. Champ bounces the ball (tennis ball, moon ball, sponge ball – anything that bounces) into the grid. The other players have to keep the ball bouncing (without catching it – like basketball). If the ball is bounced out of the grid by players 2,3 or 4, the player who bounced it out moves to player 4 space and the others move around (excluding champ). If the ball is missed by a player, the same rules as above apply. If Champ bounces the ball out of the grid or misses the ball, all players move around, so player 2 becomes champ. The aim is to get to the champ square and stay there as long as possible!
That sounds really complicated, however, give it a try and it should make more sense!! For the 2 player game, each player takes control of 2 squares and the same rules apply.
This can also be drawn outside of course!
So – give them a try. They get the kids moving and practicing their ball skills. Let me know if you try them and have fun!