The ability to use the hands in coordination with the visual images transmitted from the eyes to the brain is a vital developmental skill, necessary in the development of many other life skills.
It’s obvious that many sports require good hand-eye coordination, but did you know that it also played an important role in reading, writing, and many life skills like driving and cooking?
Developing good hand-eye co-ordination is also necessary to improve sports skills. In turn this boosts a child’s enjoyment of sport, which is good for their physical fitness and well-being, mental health and social skills.
Whilst many children rapidly improve their skills in the early years of preschool and primary school, many benefit from continued practice at much older ages.
At Wicken Toys we think all learning should be fun, so here our are top picks for entertaining, engaging and energetic ways to boost your ball skills, and get hands and eyes working together.
#1 Shoot The Can Make your own version of the carnival game ‘shoot the can’ with some empty cardboard toilet roll tubes and a water pistol. Extend the life of the tubes by decorating them with parcel tape or duct tape, to stop the water penetrating the cardboard. For an added layer of educational fun, write scores on each ‘can’ and ask the players to add up their own totals.
#2 Keepy Uppy TennisA challenging game suitable for older children, the aim is to bounce a tennis ball on the racket as many times as possible without it hitting the ground. Keep track of the best records set on the day so improvements can be monitored over time. If you have more than one child old enough to play, turn the game into a rally, where the aim of the game is to bounce the ball back and forth the maximum number of times, rather than trying to blast the ball past your opponent. A game of swingball is also great for learning how to time a swipe at the ball.
#3 Homemade Pinata Beating a pinata with a baseball bat, cricket bat, tennis racket, or any other stick is a great way for children to let off steam, and helps improve hand-eye coordination. Make your own pinata by layering paper mache over a balloon, then suspend it from the underside of the climbing frame. Instead of filling the pinata with sweets you could stuff it with a voucher for video games time, or a trip to the cinema, or something simple like an extra hour at bedtime.
#4 Mud Soup This is a great game for younger children. Fill a washing up bowl or water play table, and add a liberal sprinkling of mud. Then add a selection of things that will float, such as leaves and daisy heads. Give your child a slotted spoon and ask them to scope out just a particular type of debris. This is great for testing the steadiness and accuracy of their hands.
For more play ideas, see the rest of the Wicken Toys blog.