Ball play has universal appeal for young children and is a great activity for the developing years. Ball play develops eye-hand and eye-foot coordination, builds steadiness and confidence in the emotions, and develops physical skills to take through life.
Ball skills begin by experimenting with fundamental “lead up” skills to set the groundwork for developing more complex skills later on.
Pre-walking babies can sit and “pat” a ball, and can “track” a rolling ball coming toward them across the floor.
Toddlers can pat a ball, and also spin, roll, toss and kick a ball. They can also toss a ball into a hoop.
Preschoolers can do all the above, and can also bounce a ball, catch it, toss it (at a target or into a hoop), and can even begin to dribble a ball.
In the PlayMove&Sing classes I teach, I include additional (non-traditional) ball play activities to create a special atmosphere of physical fun and discovery.
In addition to:
I invite babies, toddlers and preschoolers to:
- Sit and bounce on the ball.
- Sit and bounce on the ball while clapping.
- Roll on the ball (on tummy) going forward and back.
- Hold the ball between feet while lying down with legs lifted overhead.
In the song featured here, Pat the Ball (to the tune of “Ten Little Indians”), the lyrics highlight ball skills to try in rhythm while singing along.
Here’s a video clip of a PlayMove&Sing class in action in Nyack, NY. (ages ___ to ___). We’re singing “Pat the Ball” while doing the actions described by the lyrics.
Click here to watch.