Summer Activity: Marble Baseball


BASEBALL 

Materials needed

Large marker (the bat)                                                
Large marble (the ball)

 Large piece of paper (playing field)

                                 Markers, sticks or Wikki Stix for score keeping and naming the team

This activity may be played on the floor or standing at a table. To make a playing field, cut a piece of paper to a size four feet by four feet. If needed tape together pieces of smaller paper to form the large playing field. Taping is excellent for developing finger skills. Draw a large baseball diamond on the paper.

1. Write or help your child with the beginning letters of your two favorite baseball teams.

Four year olds: Make the letters for your child out of sticks or Wikki Stix or write the letters for your child.  Do not expect him to write letters at this age.

Five years old and up:  Help your child write the beginning letter of each team on the paper (playing field) if he has learned the correct formation.  Remember the larger the letter is written, the easier it is to write and to remember. If your child cannot write the letter, you may write it.

2. Discuss the location of each base. Have your child draw a shape to symbolize each base or draw the beginning letter or number (“F” for first or 1 for first).

3. Choose one person to be the batter and the other to be the pitcher.

4. Holding the marker parallel to the floor at “home base”, the batter will swing the marker at the rolled marble. If you are the pitcher, roll the marble to insure a hit. Remember that you want your child to hit the marble, so be slow and deliberate.

5. When the marble is hit, your child will make his hand run the bases while you are slowly getting the marble to tag him.  If he makes it just to 2nd base, place a penny or small man on base and he bats again.  With the next hit, move the “extra man” to home. After several minutes or three outs, change batters.  Keep score with tally marks or with actual numbers IF your child knows how to correctly form them.

Developmental Skills:

Gross Motor: If sitting on the floor, sitting balance may be improved as the child moves to either hit the ball or to retrieve the ball or to move his players. As the ball moves back and forth, eye tracking is practiced, as well as judging “near and far” distance (motor sequencing and timing).

Fine Motor: Writing fingers and wrist muscles may be strengthened as the child holds and moves the “marker bat” or rolls the ball.

Perceptual: Numbers and letters may be learned, as well as concepts of first, second, third.

 Language: Social skills such as taking turns, learning to play fair and losing or winning are practiced.

 Tactile/Kinesthetic: Awareness develops as the hand and body move across the paper.

Exert from Alphabet Soup: Stirring Your Child’s Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong

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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R


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