Welcome back to the, 3 ways to learn series! Look at you – back for day three! You go-getter you. I hope you are finding these no prep, at home, super simple learning activities helpful and fun.
you guessed it …
3 Ways to Learn with a Bouncy Ball
Now, very fair warning, playing with bouncy balls in the house can be a bit much. Depending on your little ones, it might be a good idea to use a very soft bouncy ball. And perhaps use it in a space without breakables out and about.
In our house, we have a lot of little ones. And those little ones are the types of little ones that really, really bounce balls (and themselves) so we don’t have many breakables out and about even on a non-bouncy ball day.
We like to use tennis balls for these activities with my older boys, and softer ‘alligator skin’ type balls with my littlest. No matter the ball you choose, hold on tight, things are going to get bouncy as we get learning today!
Bounce it into a pot
Let’s get started with a nice and simple idea. Actually, they are all simple ideas, which is the whole point of this post. But this one is a great one to start with all the same.
Put a nice big soup pot on the ground. If you have a young toddler, there is your morning right there!
If you can get that baby OUT of the pot, you can play this fun game. Have your little one drop the ball into the pot. That’s a point! Then, have her step back a little and try to let the ball bounce once before going into the pot. Once she accomplishes that she gets another point! After, step back once more and try to have the ball bounce twice before landing in the pot. This is really tricky!
Keep track of points on a piece of paper. This is a great opportunity to introduce tally marks to your little one.
This game is full of learning and can be played on your own, or with a partner, or even a small group. You can work as a team or independently. Anything goes.
This activity works on counting, patterning, visual spatial skills, hand eye coordination, patience, perseverance, and lots more.
Bouncing on the Stairs
We love to use our stairs for learning around here. We almost always have something taped to our stair risers: numbers, letters, sight words, math facts … it is always an adventure (perhaps not an exciting adventure, but an adventure!)
This ball activity can be as simple or as complex as you like.
The idea is very simple. Start at the bottom of the stairs. Your little one will stay there the entire game. She tries to bounce the ball on the first step, and then the second step, and then the third step, tossing the ball higher and higher each time.
If your child is very little, perhaps he just bounces it off of the first or second step. If your child is older, perhaps he can get all the way to the top in order!
You can add in extra learning by taping things to the stairs. You can add numbers to the back of the stairs and have your child toss the ball 5 times and add up his score, trying to get the highest score possible.
You could put letters on the stairs and have your child try to spell her name.
There is so much learning at play with this idea as well. Children will be working on gross motor skills, hand eye coordination, adding and counting skills, letter and number recognition, really – anything you can think up!
Number Wall Ball
This game is a favourite of my boys right now. We have a bare wall in the basement that is dedicated to this game alone. The familiar, ‘thud … thud … thud …’ rings downstairs almost daily.
This game is best played with two players. Stand a few feet away from the wall and throw the ball at it. Your partner let’s it bounce once and then catches it. Next, they throw the ball and you let it bounce once and catch it. If you miss the ball, you need to run and touch the wall before your partner gets the ball and throws it to the wall.
This ball activity is actually full of learning just as it is: patterning, gross motor skills, hand eye coordination, counting, sportsmanship, conflict resolution (*ahem*).
We can add a few variations to work on even more learning skills. Add some numbers to the wall using painters tape or paper taped on to the wall. Points can be awarded and added based on those numbers being hit with the ball.
Letters can be added and an added challenge can be to call out a letter for your partner to hit, if they miss the letter they need to run to the wall before their partner throws the ball.
I love chatting with my kids about ideas for variations of activities we do. I just can’t compete with their creativity! I love how kids think outside of the box. I learn so much from them.
Adding in these variations will hit even more learning skills like adding, letter and number recognition, more conflict resolutions (*ahem*)
There you have them! 3 fun and easy ways to learn with a bouncy ball. I hope you and your little ones enjoy one or two of these ideas today if you are looking for something to do together.
Thank you so much for joining me. Be sure to check back tomorrow as we learn with some yarn (or string!)
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