Every new baby born into the world will be given a ball as a gift. At the beginning it will be a plush, soft velvety ball. As they get older they will be fascinated by the way they move, and how they can in fact make them move!
For some reason even as adults most of us are still retaining that fascination. It may now not be a soft velvet ball but a rugby, foot, tennis, basket or in fact balance ball that now keeps us engaging in Ball Play.
Babies and toddlers are fascinated by balls. They love to squeeze them, roll them, drop them and kick them. Gather some that fit in their palm and others that are soft, light, heavy or huge. If you don’t have many lying around, make some from tinfoil, socks, whatever you can find around the house.
Here’s how you can explore together and discover what each of them can do!
Gather a wide variety of balls, they could be small, wooden, scented, bouncy, sequined, patterned, bath scrunchies, stress balls, juggling balls, tennis and ping pong balls. Place them inside one or two cushion covers of different sizes, colours or textures. Then place the cushion covers on the floor and encourage the toddlers to squeeze and squash the balls through the cushion covers. Use creative language to help them describe what they can feel: squashy, bouncy, hard, spongy etc.
Next, suggest they look to discover what there is hiding inside. Let the toddlers explore the various balls one at a time or empty them all out at the same time. What can they observe about each ball? Then choose a few of the balls to roll, bounce, drop, throw and catch. Let the toddler watch and try themselves or join in with you. Have fun with different movements, heights and speeds.
Pop a bowl or basket on the ground and stand or kneel beside it to drop the balls in,then repeat this a few times. Roll the balls encouraging the wee ones to track and chase them. Roll them off the edge of a table and exclaim as they drop and bounce! Where do they end up going? How many times did that ball bounce? How high do they go when you drop them?
Endless adventures to be had playing with whatever kinds of balls you have around the house! Remember that often the best play, the most enjoyable play is when it is shared with someone else. And you can tag us with your ideas on how to learn and play at home on instagram @adventureswithalicesharp!