Happy Monday everyone! The start of the Summer Olympics in Beijing is just a few days away, so I thought it would be fun to do a variety of Mini-Olympic events with the girls. Maybe you and your little ones want to create your own Mini-Olympics too! I’m going to post some different types of skill-building activities each day, as well as some fun Olympic-style arts and crafts along the way.
Today, we’re doing throwing, tossing, and catching, so gather up your beanbags, balls, playsilks or scarves, and frisbees! Oh, and you’ll need some paper plates, too! We’re working our upper body, and building our eye-hand coordination too. Sorry there aren’t photos for some of the activities — it’s hard to throw scarves and catch frisbees with a camera in my hand! :)
Catch a Cloud
For our littlest athletes, catching can be a real challenge! Playsilks or other lightweight scarves float through the air, which allow a little extra time for the eyes and hands to coordinate and make a catch. We pretended the silks were colorful clouds, and counted how many times we could toss the scarf and catch it! I also stood on a chair and dropped the silks down for the girls to catch. So many giggles! Cloud catching is also fun with music, of course.
Paper Plate Ring Toss
Make your own ring toss with paper plates and water bottles. Cut the centers out of the paper plates, decorate, and you’re ready for action! We used plastic water bottles, filled about 2/3 for stability, for our tossing stake. This was quite fun and actually pretty challenging, since the paper plates float a bit!
Wiffle Golf Ball Toss
This was another simple, carnival-style toss game. I taped together some paper cups in a cluster. I added various flag stickers to the bottom of each cup, just for fun. Then we put the cups on a small table and started tossing. The tossing itself is not much exercise, but chasing down the balls that miss sure is!
Bean Bag Tossing
Beanbags are so versatile – here’s a few fun ways to play with them:
- Hold a hula hoop and have your child throw the beanbags through the hoop.
- Draw shapes outside with sidewalk chalk and try to throw the beanbags in the shapes. Add numbers or letters to the shapes for an extra challenge.
- Scatter some paper plates around the room, and use them for tossing targets.
- Play toss and catch! Try catching the bean bags with your hands first, then try catching with a metal pie pan, a large plastic cup, or a bucket.
- Or, combine all these beanbag activities into a beanbag obstacle course!
Choose a soft ball that your child can throw and catch (we love the bumpy Gertie balls.) Give your child different challenges to try with the ball. Here are some to get you started:
- Bounce the ball and catch it.
- Throw the ball behind you (over your head or between your legs).
- Roll the ball, run to where it rolled, and jump over it.
- Balance the ball on the palm of one hand. How high can you lift your arm before the ball falls?
- Stand with a partner and try to hold the ball between your tummies. Can you walk together without the ball falling?
- We also love playing with Koosh balls, balloons, beach balls, small soccer balls, and bouncy playground balls.
Of course, if you have a puppy like we do, you can just play chase-the-puppy-and-try-to-get-your-ball-back! Hours of fun… :)