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The Weather is Fine…Let’s Have a Throwing and Rolling Fun Time!

It’s summer time and the weather is fine, check out the activities below for some creative and fun ideas to get your kiddos moving and grooving. Not only are the following activities fun, but they are a great way to work on coordination, motor planning, and overall gross motor skills.

1. Bossy Ball

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What you’ll need:

  • Masking tape
  • Playground ball/kick ball
  • Permanent marker

How to play:

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1. Randomly stick 7 to 12 strips of masking tape on a playground ball.

2. On each strip, use a permanent marker to write a different rule for throwing and catching the ball: “Overhead and backward,” “Underhand between your legs,” “Sitting down,” “Standing on one leg,” “Eyes closed,” “In mid-jump,” “While singing,” and any others you can think of.

3. The game is played like regular catch, but once the first player grabs the ball, she must look at the words under or closest to the palm of her right hand.

4. She has to then throw the ball as directed by these words.

5. The second player has to try to catch it in the same manner.

6. The second player then looks at the words under his right hand, and play continues.

To make the game more challenging, see how many successful catches you can make, and then try to beat your record.

2. Marble Launch

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What you’ll need:

  • Pool noodle
  • Serrated knife
  • Toothpicks and/or skewers
  • Paper
  • Markers or paint
  • Tape
  • Marbles or bouncy balls

How to play:

1. Cut the noodle in half lengthwise with a serrated knife (a parent’s job).

2. Use toothpicks to join the halves, side by side.

3. Cut out paper banners and decorate them with checker patterns and raceway messages.

4. Tape the banners to toothpicks or skewers and set them in place.

5. Finally, prop up one end of the track and let the good times roll!

6. Race a friend’s ball or marble down the track. Try using different sized marbles or balls.

3. Tic-Tac-Toe Frisbee

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What you’ll need:

  • Shower curtain liner (check the dollar store for the best price!)
  • Duct tape
  • Tack the mat down with large rocks on at the corners or use tent tacks
  • Frisbees – if playing in teams, one color Frisbee per team. Or one color Frisbee per player

How to play:

1. Tack down the shower curtain on the lawn

2. Using the duct tape make 2 lines down and 2 lines across – like a tic-tac-toe board

3. Draw a line away from the liner for the kids to stand behind.

4. Kids should then take turns throwing Frisbees onto the grid until someone gets three in a row (across, up and down, or diagonal)

5. You can adjust the line as the kids become more accurate or for younger/older children to make it easier/harder to hit the target.

4. Night Time Bowling

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What you’ll need:

  • 10 empty water or soda bottles (all same size)
  • Water
  • 10 glow sticks
  • Playground ball/kick ball

How to play:

1. Fill the bottles with water

2. Follow the instructions on the glow sticks to make them light up

3. Place a glow stick in each bottle

4. Arrange the bottles in a pyramid shape

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5. Draw a line for the kids to stand behind. You can also make several lines to make it more difficult or easier depending on the age and abilities of those playing.

6. Wait for the sun to go down and then bowl the night away!

You can also modify this game by turning it into a ring toss. All you need are a couple of extra glow sticks. Use the connectors to turn them into rings and toss them around the bottles.

With the fabulous summer weather already here and fall weather soon to follow, it’s an excellent time to get outside, be creative, and work on those gross motor skills by playing fun games! If you want other exciting games for your kiddos, ask the physical therapist’s at Pediatric Therapy Center!

Katie Collin, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist

Reference websites:
http://spoonful.com/family-fun/bossy-ball
http://www.aturtleslifeforme.com/2011/06/wrapping-up-school-year.html
http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/05/50-outdoor-summer-activities-for-kids.html

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