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educational games

  • Hand Eye Coordination Games For Children Of All Ages

    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 Tennis


    A 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.

  • Skipping Rope Games And Ideas

    A skipping rope is one of the simplest, cheapest and most versatile pieces of play equipment you could ever buy.

    Take a couple of skipping ropes to your local park, beach, or any quiet outdoor space and give your children an hour of entertainment and physical activity with these fun games.

    Teaching Jump Rope

    To begin with younger children can learn to jump over a rope that gently sways back and forth, rather than one that is completing full revolutions.

    If you are home alone with a child, a clever trick for setting up a jump rope activity is to tie one end of the skipping rope to a door handle. This will be about the same height as your hand, so you can stand a few feet away and gently sway the rope back and forth.

    When you progress to completely turning the rope over their head, you'll need to match the speed carefully to their ability. Too fast and your child will get stressed, or trip over, but if you spin the rope too slowly it gets slack in mid air and becomes very tricky to jump.


    This is a game to play while two people turn the rope, and one person stands between them jumping over it. The idea is too keep skipping over the rope while following instructions. You can do this using a 'Simon Says' style game, or by completing the actions from a nursery rhyme. For example, the everyone could sing 'Heads, shoulders, knees and toes' or 'Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear' and carry out the actions while skipping. Alternatively one of the people turning the rope could be 'Simon' and give simple instructions to the jumper. This fosters listening skills, and challenges the ability to concentrate on more than one activity at any one time.

    Number Bonds To Ten

    Actually you can use this for number bonds to any quantity, but ten is the target used in Key Stage 1 maths. Lie the rope in a straight line on the floor. Gather up ten natural objects, such as conkers, acorns or pebbles. Hand them to your children so they can experiment with laying them either side of the line, and writing down the corresponding sum on a piece of paper. Then test their knowledge by placing some objects on one side of the line and asking them how many need to go on the other to bring the total to 10.

    Play Catch

    This is easier with a bean bag than a ball as it won't roll away. This game is perfect if you have four people or more: two to turn the rope, one to jump it, and the remainder as throwers / catchers. The thrower / catcher needs to time their throw to the beanbag will reach the person jumping the rope. The person jumping the rope has lots to concentrate on: timing their jumps, catching the bean bag, and co-coordinating a throw through the rotating rope.

    Learning Multiples

    Lots of children find learning easier when it is associated with a physical activity. Instead of simply learning times tables by chanting them, have your child call out the multiples as they jump, for example '3, 6, 9'.

    For more fun outdoor games, and educational activities, check out the Wicken Toys blog.

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