Celebrate summer by taking playtime outside! Children can stay entertained for hours when balls are adapted into play. Different types of balls are used by children around the world to supplement imagination and encourage healthy habits as they participate in physical fitness. We have two game suggestions from Let’s Take It Outside that we think your children will love:
Step 1: Pick out your Santurian ball!
Step 2: Get outside and play!
1. Bottle Bowling
Learning Objectives: To recognize letters and practice large motor skills by rolling a ball toward a target.
- Playground ball
- Craft paper, cut into six 5” x 15” strips
- Glue or tape
- Sidewalk chalk
- Six 2-liter soda bottles with caps
- Write a different letter onto each paper strip. Use letters the children are learning, and write the letters large enough to be seen easily from a distance.
- Wrap each paper around the middle of a bottle and attach it with glue or tape.
- Fill each bottle with about 3 inches of water. Cap tightly.
- Draw a bowling lane with chalk on the pavement, approximately 3 feet wide and 8 feet long.
- Set up the bottles (pins) at one end. Arrange the pins in a triangle shape with one bottle in front, two bottles behind it, and three bottles in the back row.
What to Do
- Show the children how to roll the ball toward the target with one hand to the side or with both hands between their legs.
- When a child knocks over one of the bottles, ask him or her to name the letter written on it.
- Allow each child to keep rolling the ball until he or she knocks over one or more pins before moving on to the next player.
- Reset the pins and proceed until all children have a sufficient number of turns.
Pro Tip: Ball retrieval will be easier if you are able to set up your alley with a wall or other barrier directly behind the pins.
2. Hoop Play
Learning Objectives: To enhance balance, coordination, large motor skills, imaginative play, and listening skills.
- Playground balls
- Construction cones
- Several large plastic hoops
- String or Velcro strips
- Set up a variety of stations for the children to practice their motor skills
What to Do:
- Hang a hoop on a tree branch or from a piece of playground equipment. Have the children toss a ball through the hoop to each other. This will help them work on catching and ball control.
- Tie several hoops together with string or Velcro strips and place them flat on the ground. Let the children practice hopping in the hoops like in hopscotch, trying to get the ball from one end of the course to the other. Pass off the ball once they make it through.
- Encourage the children to roll hoops up and down a hill or incline or stand a distance from a fence and roll the hoops into the fence. How far can they roll the hoop before it falls over? Can children toss the balls through the hoop while it’s rolling?
- Using construction cones, let the children toss the hoops like horseshoes.
- Encourage children to make up their own additional games.
Pro Tip: Hanging the hoops at different levels is also a great way to work on aim and ball control in soccer. Just make sure you have something or someone set up behind for ball retrieval!
What are your favorite ball games to play outside? Share with us by commenting below.