The Big Idea: Throwing, catching, kicking, and rolling balls all help children develop gross (large) motor skills.
Elmo’s World: Play Ball!
Watch the video together as Elmo and Dorothy learn about different ways to play with balls. Then, find a soft ball, like a beach ball or a bouncy ball, and try any of these games together indoors:
- Sit on the floor opposite each other, and roll the ball back and forth.
- Find an open space to practice throwing and catching.
- Have a ball-bounce competition! Count how many times kids can bounce the ball continuously on the floor.
- Find an open space and try keeping a beach ball up in the air. Kids will be developing hand-eye coordination as the ball moves around.
- Set up a simple obstacle course for older kids using beach pails or buckets, or pieces of paper held down by twigs or rocks (to mark places on the ground). Challenge kids to kick a ball (similar in size to a soccer ball) around the obstacles. They’ll be practicing body control and experimenting with force.