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 inside not just outside. Very young children just like to watch balls rolling toward them. This helps them develop their vision and focusing. In no time at all, kids delight in hitting, rolling, and kicking balls. Of course, it’s easy to appreciate how these actions develop children’s coordination and muscle control. When wee ones roll a ball back and forth to another person, they are learning to wait and take turns. These are valuable social skills. Ball fun can help kids learn colors, sizes, shapes, counting, and language skills. Kids also learn that when they hit or kick a ball, it rolls away. This is the foundation for learning that behaviors have consequences, another social skill.
There is another aspect of playing with a ball that is much less obvious, but no less important. One child can have lots of fun all alone. Children need to learn to entertain themselves; this is part of being independent. This is especially important for readiness for kindergarten, because there are so many more little ones and only 1, or perhaps 2, adults. Does this give you some ideas for rolling out the learning?