24th April 2020
Beach Ball fun!
A small inexpensive beach ball – who would have thought it could have so many uses and developmental benefits!! We love using the beach balls in our classes. Especially in the baby class for some tummy time. Actually we don’t love getting them all blown up before hand lol!! There have nearly been a few times Marina and I have just about passed out trying to blow up 15 beach balls in time to open the door to class ha ha! But once ready they give hours of entertainment and fun.
Let’s check it out below:
As I mentioned above they are great for tummy time. Start on the floor with your legs out in front of you and place the beach ball securely between your legs. Then place baby tummy down on the ball. Open your hands wide to hold baby and the ball. Let the fun begin! Rock the ball backwards and forwards, side to side or round in a circle. Add in some music or rhymes to add another dimension to the play. A great way to get in tummy time, strengthen the muscles of the back and neck and have a fun and bonding experience with your baby.
Why not start as above with the ball in-between your legs but this time place baby sitting up either facing you or away from you. If they still need neck support ensure you give adequate support. Try bouncing them up and down and rocking from side to side, back and front. Again why not add some music and bounce along to the beat.
On the Floor
Try Tummy time on the floor and roll the ball in front of them to distract and encourage them to lift their head using the back and neck muscles. Or perhaps sit them up and get someone to pass the ball towards them and away. You could even move it around infant of them or toss it in the air. These gentle moves all aid eye tracking and focus skills.
Toddlers/Pre School children
Sit with your child on the floor and try rolling the ball between you. This reinforces the back and forth motion needed to play catch and again aids eye tracking and focus. Once they understand the rolling from the floor you could move up to kneeling and then to standing counting the back and forth rolling. Increase the distance between you too for a greater challenge.
Throw and Catch
As above you can start from the floor at short distances as you throw the ball between you. Increase the distance and again move to kneeling and them to standing. Throw and catch is a difficult skill to learn and takes some time and patience on both parts to achieve. Be encouraging and keep trying. Try getting your thing basket or a box for them to practice throwing the ball into as a target.
Again a tricky skill to master and on a typical timeline toddlers rom 15-16 months can make contact with the ball and their foot. Start the learning process by standing on one foot to achieve the balance skills required. Practicing the throwing, catching and rolling will all help develop their hand eye or foot eye coordination that is required for kicking. Try giving them a goal area, box or down target to kick towards.
So go forth with your cheap and simple beach ball and enjoy your time together playing with it. And of course it is always fun to take it to the beach too!! lol!!
Grab your beach ball here
We provide fun and interactive classes for children aged 0 - 10 years.