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Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


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Balls

Balls have been in children's toy chests for decades. Regardless their age, children are always interested in manipulating or bouncing textured or colourful balls.

 

As adults, we continue to use balls. For example, we use anti-stress balls to reduce anxiety. This cherished toy remains present throughout our lives. To explore balls with your group, simply set different balls in the centre of your daycare and sit back. Children will immediately be drawn to them and spontaneously come up with a variety of ways to play with them.

 

Purchase balls made of different textures and in a variety of bright colors. Offer different sizes too. You can even find balls that produce various sounds or light up when bounced. You can find interesting balls in the pet aisle of department stores. Here are suggestions of activities to enjoy with children of all ages.

 

0 to 12 months

  • During diaper changes, hand little ones a small textured ball. Name the texture for them (soft, rough, etc.).
  • Use balls that produce sounds. Show a child the ball and bounce or shake it to provoke a sound. Encourage him/her to turn his/her head from left to right.
  • Hang a ball from the ceiling over your changing table so that little ones can grab it during diaper changes.
  • Roll a ball in front of crawling children. Show them how they can push the ball to roll it across the floor.
  • Use textured balls to massage children. Name their body parts.

12 to 24 months

  • Use a balloon and have fun tossing it up in the air. Encourage children to tap the balloon so it doesn't touch the floor.
  • Fill a large bin with balls. Hide objects among the balls and have children search for them. This activity can be done in your kiddie pool.
  • Deposit several cardboard boxes at one end of your daycare. Have children stand on a line a few feet away and encourage them to try to toss balls in the boxes.
  • Sort balls according to different characteristics (size, color, texture, etc.).
  • Use different body parts to roll balls. Name a body part and encourage children to push the ball with the corresponding body part.

3 to 4 years old

  • Draw targets on cardboard and stick them on a wall. Invite children to throw the balls, trying to touch the different targets.
  • Use spoons to transport tiny balls from one point to another.
  • Use balls to perform various exercises (move the ball around your waist, around your ankle, etc.).
  • Make your own bowling game using empty plastic bottles. Pour a small amount of water in each one. Add food coloring to the water to make the game more attractive. Have children roll a ball towards the bottles to make them fall down.
  • Deposit several small balls on a blanket. Have children hold the edges of the blanket and bounce the balls up and down like popcorn.

4 to 5 years old

  • Cut a few large holes in an old bed sheet. Deposit a ball on the sheet and have children hold the edges. Encourage them to lift and lower the sheet in an attempt to make the ball fall through one of the holes.
  • Set several cardboard boxes upside down on the floor. Cut holes out of the sides of the boxes. The holes must be against the floor. Have children roll balls in and out of the holes.
  • Memory game. You will need a few balls (different colors) and a variety of containers. Deposit one ball in each container. Let them observe the containers and then ask them which container holds, for example, the yellow ball.
  • Use balls for a simple craft. Let children glue a variety of materials on them. They can make flowers, suns, faces, etc. Be creative!

These suggestions are just a starting point. There are many other ways to explore balls.

 

Use balls to present new experiences. Listen to your group's suggestions and don't hesitate to put their ideas to the test. Note that the ages indicated may vary. Several activities can be done with different age groups, simply adapt them to your group's interests and abilities.

 

Have fun!


Maude Dubé
Specialized educator


Educatall.com is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. Educatall.com shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.


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