The Ladybug Class has been bouncing, smiling, and bonding over balls! It started with a ball track toy that the Ladybugs would play with for twenty minutes at a time! Two balls were provided with the ball track, so only two children could play with at one time and each child could only have one ball. The Ladybugs learned to just take one ball and if they grabbed the second, a protest was sure to occur! Each child learned to share in their own way: some children would only use a certain ball, others would grab the first ball that fell to the bottom of the track and leaving the second for the other child, one child always grabbed two balls but promptly held out the second ball to their friend. The children learned how to cooperate with each other, peacefully play and have fun. Rita and I were proud of our Ladybugs!
Having seen their enthusiasm for the ball track toy, long cardboard tubes and ping pong ball were brought out. The cardboard tubes were taller than the Ladybugs, and we quickly learned to always keep one end on the floor for everyone’s safety. Balls started rolling all around the room and our quiet class started talking! “Go Ball!”… “Look, it rolled across the room!”… “Ball stuck!”…“The green ball is under the table.”
To expand on the ball theme, we painted with golf and ping pong balls in a large box. Two children sat beside the box and had to work together to make the balls roll across the paper. Also, we observed that the golf balls rolled quite easily and the ping pong balls got stuck in the paint.
This week, each child brought in a ball to share. On Tuesday, we had a spirited time in the meeting room exploring the different ways balls move. On Thursday, we talked about the different things balls do: bouncing, rolling and what we do with balls: throw, catch, hold, and squeeze. To expand on the bouncing and rolling discussion, we playground rolled ball in trays of paint and dropped the balls off the side of the porch. Each child enjoyed walking down the stairs and then chasing after the ball, and carefully walking the stairs with ball in their hands(this skill is easy for adults but proved to be a challenge for the little ones.) You can imagine and smiles and squeals of delight this event caused!
So our study of balls has helped us practice our social skills, promote sharing, help us to find our voices, work on balance and gross motor skills, and explore art beyond our painting easel. And you thought balls were just for bouncing and rolling!