I don’t know about you, but when I think about ball games I get a bit of a nostalgic feeling!
When I was in elementary school, we had a Ball Games Day every year. On this glorious day, each grade would play it out for the title of Ball Game Champions! We thought it was a great way to have a break from learning and get out in the sun.
Now that I’m much older and have traded the ‘student’ hat for that of ‘teacher’, I can appreciate ball games for the educational tool they are.
The Benefits of Ball Games on Child Development
While games such as soccer and basketball have their place in school, they aren’t the be-all and end-all of ball sports. Playing games such as captain ball and tunnel ball with your students is a great way to help them develop, both physically and mentally, in a smaller team environment. This allows skills to be targeted in a more relaxed way.
Ball game skills such as throwing and catching, rolling, running, and ducking are skills which your students will use their whole lives!
Other benefits of ball games include:
- improved coordination and aim
- improvement in timing and speed
- increased social engagement
- team-work and collaboration
- resilience and humility when handling victories and defeats
- increase in attention and motor planning.
Ball Game Drills for Any Age
Practicing these skills is easier when students enjoy what they’re doing! Because we know just how great ball skills are for learning, we’ve designed four fun Ball Game Drills – Task Cards for your classroom, ready to download and play!
These drills are also perfect to use for any age – just increase the distance, ball size, or speed of play and students of any age will be having fun.
The name may be strange, but once your students get the hang of Bob Ball they’ll be begging for more!
Bob Ball gives students a chance to practice their throwing skills. It requires students to catch and throw the ball to increasingly large distances.
This is a great way to build student confidence and skill in throwing.
But watch out! Students need to be speedy in order to not get hit.
There are many variations to this fun game!
However you play it, one thing’s for sure… the captain has to be ‘on the ball’ (see what I did there?)!
Throwing the ball in different directions while coordinating with your teammates isn’t easy! But with Captain Ball, your students will learn the skills in no time.
Each student gets a chance to be the captain, and each student gets a chance to support their captain. If they’re not paying attention they may miss the ball and slow their team down!
The catch with this game is that you can’t see where you’re passing the ball! This kind of coordination is a skill that requires a bit of practice.
Luckily with Over and Under Ball, that’s what you’ll get to do.
Extend this game by asking the leading student to run around a cone before starting their pass. Or, once the ball gets to the end of the line, ask the students to send it back going over and under each student!
Tunnel Ball is the fastest of the ball drills, and that makes for an exhilarating game!
The front and end players are engaged in this game – the middle players just need to make sure they stay out of the way.
Don’t worry, they’ll get their chance!
For an even more action-packed game, ask the students to zigzag their standing position. Each student can catch the ball and roll it between their legs to the next player!