Summer is the time to have fun while learning! Here are three more healthy play activities to build a child’s coordination and body control, as well as enhance gross- and fine-motor skills.
Walking the line
You’ll need a jump rope or a long piece of clothesline. This activity is best done barefoot, and can be for one or more players. Stretch out and lay the jump rope or clothesline on a grassy, flat area of yard or a park. Then brainstorm the different ways your child could travel along the line, such as:
- walking on the rope.
- walking backwards along one side of the rope.
- hopping or jumping from side to side, not touching the rope.
- walking with one foot on each side, moving without touching the rope.
- any other creative way that he might want to navigate the “line.”
Plastic bottle targets
This game can be for one or more players. You’ll need six same-size plastic bottles, half-filled with water, and a marker and a tennis ball.
- Mark a big number in the middle of each bottle from 1-6.
- Line the bottles on the grass in your yard or in a park.
- Have your child stand about three feet back, and call out the number of the bottle she’d like to “target.” She has three tries to hit that number.
- Keep playing until all the “targets” have been knocked over.
- As she gets really good at the three-foot distance, increase the difficulty by stepping back twelve inches to lengthen the distance of the throw.
You’ll need pails and small, clean paintbrushes. This activity can be for one or more children.
- Help your child fill the bucket or pail with water.
- Take the pail with water and paintbrush outside.
- Dip the clean paintbrush into the water and let him “paint” the side of the house, garage, or shed with up-and-down and side-to-side strokes. See how much can be done before the first strokes dry.
This activity was a personal favorite of my children when they were little! It kept them productively busy on sunny days while toning muscles needed for coloring and writing.