Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Learning for Littles: Balls [Step by Step]


Theme: Shape (ball)

Objective: to learn about balls, to understand what balls do, to roll balls, to sort colors

Senses: touch different textures of balls, toss balls, roll balls

Sensory activity: bouncy ball paint activity

Music: Roll the Balls with Me

Talking points: colors and textures of balls as you play, simple physics as you roll the ball (momentum, speed)

Supplies: [for painting] paper (white thick cardstock or watercolor paper), small balls, paint (I use Michaels brand acrylic), and a container. [for ball roll] different sized balls, something to roll the balls down

Leave balls out for baby to explore 

By getting children immediately interested in the balls, this builds up the anticipation needed to keep them engaged.

Talk through the different size/texture/color balls

Discuss what they look and feel like.
For added sensory, roll the ball up and down the child's arms or legs.
(For older babies/children), sort the ball by size/texture/color.

Ball Pit Play

Ask the older children to pass specific colors to the younger children.
Do the Roll the Balls with Me song a few times.

Ball roll

Have older kids hypothesize what ball will roll the fastest, make them defend their hypothesis by answering why they believe that, ask guiding questions if they are struggling [is it heavy or light? Are there holes for air to get through or is it solid? Etc.]. If you just have babies, choose a couple of balls and discuss the weight and size and show them which rolls the quickest.

Let each child choose a ball and do a ball race to see which ball was the quickest.

Painting Activity

Step 1
Choose containers that are age appropriate (more open containers if the child can handle not reaching their hand in, closed ones if not).

Step 2
Place small balls in the containers with thick white paper.

Step 3
Put a small amount of paint in the containers.

Step 4
Seal the lid (if applicable) and roll the balls.

Step 5
Take them out of the containers and let them dry.

Step 6
Wash the bins and balls to prevent the paint from sticking.

Step 7
(Optional) laminate the art and write the child's name on it.

To see how we played using these activities, click here.

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