Throwing games allow your child to throw balls and beanbags in a controlled environment, instead of inside the house where he may break your valuables. Once your child reaches 4 to 6 years old, he is at a stage of gross motor skill development where throwing games can help him practice using large muscle groups. In addition, the Encyclopedia of Children’s Health notes that throwing games can help your child with fine motor skill eye-hand and foot-eye development.
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Guidelines to Teaching Games
Patience and practice are important to keep in mind when teaching throwing games to children. Because motor development occurs at a different rate for each child, the Encyclopedia of Children’s Health stresses the importance of not pushing your child to a higher level before she is ready. If she is not ready for group activities, choose throwing games she can play by herself or with you. Helping your child learn to throw lies in actively participating in teaching throwing and other games, according to the University of Missouri-Extension.
The beanbag throw is a game your child can play either by herself or in a group setting. Game materials include one or more beanbags, some tape or string and an optional bucket or basket. Use the tape or string to mark two lines about 6 feet apart. If you are using a basket, place it on one line, and then have your child or the group stand at the other. The goal, whether your child is practicing by himself or playing with a group, is to see how many times each child can hit the basket with a beanbag.
Chant Ball/Clap And Catch
Chant ball and clap and catch are two more throwing games your child can play individually or within a group setting. The goal of chant ball is to throw a ball in the air and keep it there by clasping your hands together and batting it back into the air before it reaches the ground. Counting aloud each time the ball goes up also gives your child a chance to practice her counting skills. To play clap and catch, toss a ball in the air and clap once before catching it. Encourage your child with enthusiastic praise when she is successful in the games.
Spud is a group game. To start, each child is assigned a number and one child gets to be “it.” The child who is “it” stands in the middle while everyone else circles around him. “It” throws a soft foam ball in the air and calls out a number while the children in the circle start running. The child who was assigned that number must return, catch the ball and call “spud.” When he does, everyone else must stop running. The player with the ball then throws it toward another player. If he hits the player, she gets a letter in the word “spud” and becomes “it.” If he misses the player, he keeps the letter and becomes “it.” As each player gets enough letters to spell the entire word, that player must sit out the rest of the game. The last player standing wins.