We recently completed a beach/ocean preschool unit. While we can’t often visit a beach, we can play with a beach ball anywhere and in a variety of ways!
In the coming weeks, I’ll share a post with numerous ways to use a beach ball in active games and learning activities.
Today, I’ll show you the Beach Ball Obstacle Course we played.
Obstacle Course Setup
I’m a fan of using whatever we’ve got in the house rather than always buying more. My main goals for this obstacle course were:
- to have my preschoolers follow varied and sequenced directions.
- to practice multiple directional words (over, in between, around).
- to practice coordination and gross motor skills through using various body parts to move the beach ball.
Knowing these goals, I picked a few objects around the house conducive to creating such a course.
We set up two baseball bats to create parallel lines to move the ball in between, a fabric Frisbee to roll the ball over, and a tower of blocks to roll the ball around.
I set up the course with about 3 feet in between each object. You can place a starting line on your floor with painter’s tape or another object.
Preschool Beach Ball Obstacle Course
Standing at the starting line with the ball, I first asked my kids to roll the ball in between the bats, over the Frisbee, and around the tower, then come back over the Frisbee and in between the bats. I did not give any other directions. This allowed them to decide how they wanted to roll the ball.
After we each had a turn, I asked them to move the ball with their knees. (I demonstrated this one first.) More variations of movements: use only fingertips, use elbows, use chin, tap with the tops of feet, etc.
- For older kids (around kindergarten and up), you can give directions to move to the right or to the left of an object. Also try to incorporate under and through.
- You can limit the amount of touches on the ball. (Example: Roll the ball around the tower with only four touches.)
- You can alter your child’s foot movement (hop, lunge, tiptoe, etc.).
- You can lengthen the obstacle course to include 5 or more obstacles.
- You can write letters on the ball and ask your child to only touch the vowelsor consonants, etc. Or you can write numbers on the ball and ask your child to only touch even numbers or odd numbers or multiples of 3, etc.
This game is such a simple one to set up, fun to play, and incorporates vocabulary, awareness, movement control, gross motor practice, and taking turns.
How does your family play with a beach ball?
This post is also linked up with Homeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten Corner, Tuesday Tots, Toddler and Preschool Moms Pinning Party, the Weekly Kids Co-op, Show and Share Saturday, Free Homeschool Deals’ Ultimate Pinterest Party, and Link & Learn.
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