A ball can be a fun toy for a child of any age. Throwing and catching skills start to emerge around three years old. More refined ball skills by four to five years old. Here are some activities that you can do with a group of children or just one!!
For your younger children, place a hula hoop on the floor and practice throwing the basketball or bouncy rubber ball at the target. Have two children stand across from each other and bounce it back and forth. Have more then 2 children, make a circle around the hula hoop and bounce the ball back and forth but make sure it goes in the hoop!!!
If you are lucky enough to have a basketball net but it is too high- grab 3 hula hoops and tie them together. Hang one of the hoops over the basketball net and let the three hula hoops hang towards the ground. Your children can practice aiming at each target, make the higher one worth more points than the bottom and keep score. Don’t have access to a basketball net? Use a garbage can or larger bucket to practice making baskets.
Need to make the game a little harder? Have your children play scooter basketball. Each one has to sit on the scooter board and pass and shoot from there.
Play Backwards Dodgeball!
This can be a great OT group game. Have your children stand in a circle about arms length apart. Practice first by rolling the ball back and forth to each other. Once one child catches it, they can call out a name and roll to that person. When they get the hang of it you can start playing backwards. The child with the ball turns around, bends at the waist (with knees straight) and rolls the ball to whomever they call. The game can be played two ways- either the child who’s name was called has to catch the ball and the roller is “out” or they have to move out of the way and if they get hit, they are “out” Keep playing until only one child is standing or just play and don’t have a winner!!