A playground ball is as important to have at home as books, paper and crayons. It is an inexpensive investment and can be found in many discount stores. With this size ball children can practice their catching, bouncing, and kicking skills.

Dreams of superstardom seem to start in second grade. Encouraging and practicing good ball skills helps develop coordination and gets children ready for joining sports teams or clubs. But playing with a ball is no fun by yourself. Parents you need to join in the fun!

What you’ll need

  • A playground ball (about 8 ½ inches in diameter)

Here’s how to do it

Find a flat surface near your home or at a nearby park and try the following:

  • Bounce and catch back and forth, keeping track of successful catches.
  • Catch in different ways, such as clapping in front of the body or before the catch.
  • Invent your own special catch and give it a name.
  • Bounce the ball with two hands, one hand, switching hands.
  • Find a basketball hoop and try some fancy dribbling moves before shooting.
  • Dribble the ball, touching it with both feet as a soccer player would.
  • Find some friends to play a soccer game. A few old laundry bottles with a little sand or water inside (to give some weight) make great soccer goals.
  • Kickball is still a favorite game that many parents enjoyed as children. Share that game with your own child!