Will your child be ready for kindergarten?

Tag Archives: ball play

Helping Children Learn to Play Series: #2 Balls

Helping Children Learn to Play with a Ball

Playing with a ball is so natural that even animals will push them to make the balls move around or chase them. Children not only roll and chase, but also throw, bounce, and kick balls and we can extend their natural play.

playing with ballsWhile playing with balls, kids are learning how to act purposefully and to coordinate their body, as well as noticing the effect of their actions. They are predicting what will happen each time and making adjustments based on the outcome. That’s already lots to learn, but as parents and caregivers we are children’s first teachers. We can just as naturally expand their play and enhance their learning.

playing with ballsOne of the most simple ways to share about ball play is by participating. Rolling a ball back and forth with a child may not seem like much but the back and forth action sets up a pattern used in conversations. The your turn-my turn also forms part of relationships.

As we play with children, we use a variety of words and different language structures. Learning to use a language fluently will take years and millions of words. Research estimates that a child hears between 3 and 10 million words a year before school. We need to use words in as many situations as possible and encourage children to use them too. Playing ball is one opportunity to do so.

playing with ballsOnce children are ready, we can introduce them to more complicated games than back and forth. This can grow from trying to roll a ball under a chair to aiming for an empty box placed on its side to kicking around a ball in a large outdoor space. Children will create their own challenges and add in rules. Organized games such as soccer are appropriate for older children and develop from baby, toddler, and preschooler ball play.

playing with ballsSome math can also be added to ball play. Children will hear us count and will count themselves. The numbers may not be accurate but they are learning to count each action, one at a time. We can include different sizes for more ball fun.

Children learn from watching, listening, and imitating, as well as from their own actions and explorations. By participating occasionally and showing them different ways to play by themselves and with others, we can enhance their play and early learning. Plus, the fun we experience with them creates life-long bonds. Is it time to Play Ball?

Play is Important No Matter Our Age

When grownups get to play, they really play. Outdoor ice hockey in Dodger Stadium? Along with beach volleyball and the rock band KISS? The extravaganza in Los Angeles, California may be because adults play so seldom. Over 54,000 people came out to play, underscoring that play is important no matter our age. In the wordsContinue Reading

Kindergarten Readiness Goes to the Super Bowl

Kindergarten readiness can be part of the game anytime and anywhere, including at the Super Bowl. With the big game tomorrow will your family be watching? Balls that are football-shapes are quite tricky for little hands; round ones are easier and can be various sizes. At the park, or just in the backyard, grownups andContinue Reading

Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning on the Ball

Earlier posts this month have looked at how toys can help children learn basic skills and concepts. Some of these learnings will help later on with kindergarten readiness but the main point is that young children need to play. A ball appeals to kids of all ages and now with spongy ones, can be used insideContinue Reading

Copyright 2014 Barbara Allisen & 123 Kindergarten