Under-threes play ideas - balls

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Lay the foundations of physical literacy


Take aim

  • Place a large basket or box between your legs while in a sitting position.
  • Place a selection of balls, sponges and net scrubs in a pile near where you are sitting.
  • Encourage the children to throw or roll the 'balls' into the container.
  • Adjust the position of the container to make it easier or more challenging depending on the child's ability.
  • Cheer and clap at various times, to encourage the children to try - not just when they manage to score.

Up in the air

  • Place a large piece of fabric in the bottom of a box and allow the edges to drape over the sides.
  • Fill the box with a variety of balls.
  • Ask the children to pull hard on the edges of the fabric and watch the balls as they leap up in the air.  

In the can

  • Provide toddlers with a tennis ball and two or three cans of different sizes, only one of which is large enough for the ball to fit in.
  • Watch the children explore. Provide encouragement as appropriate and add extra balls and cans as the children start to grasp what can the ball fits into.

When using these suggestions, make sure that your resources are clean and safe for young children and that the activity is age appropriate - the ideas outlined cover the birth to three age range 

Based on ideas by Alice Sharp, managing director of training and resources company, Experiential Play, http://www.experientialplay.com

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