Outdoor activities for toddlers: Activities to build movement and motor skills
Nerf Dodge Ball is a safe way to help refine your child’s large motor coordination and movement while he has fun.
NERF DODGE BALL
Using a nerf ball to play the old stand-by game, Dodge Ball, allows you to give your child lots of practice moving his body so that he doesn’t get hit with the ball. This provides excellent development of large motor skills. The beauty of this game is that even very young children can play without anyone getting hurt.
If the weather is nice, playing on the lawn adds interest to the game. If it’s raining or cold, this game can even be played in a garage or other outside shelter. Remember, this game does require plenty of space for your child to run, jump, hop or skip out of the way of the ball. Be sure toys and lawn furniture are moved out of the way so no one trips and falls. A side benefit of having your children help you get the lawn ready for the game is that this helps to teach them responsibility for their toys as well.
The movements your child makes as he tries to dodge will consistently refine his large motor skills and over time he will find himself getting hit less and less often. Of course, if he does not get out of the way of the ball it will not hurt him when it hits him. Remind him frequently of the most important rule of this game which is to only throw the ball at each other so that it can hit someone below the waist. Hitting another person above the waist does not count. Otherwise, if older children are involved, you may find that faces and ears are taking quite a beating.
Nerf Dodge Ball improves young children’s running skills, as well. Playing on the lawn helps to teach them to pick up their feet and move with grace or they will be falling down over the bumps and depressions every yard contains. Being “it” and trying to throw the ball to get other players “out” helps improve the large motor skills in their arms. It also improves hand-eye coordination and helps to build arm muscles. Learning to play games by the rules is something every child needs to know how to do, and playing the simple game of Nerf Dodge Ball is a good way to teach this to your child.
- A 6 to 8 inch nerf ball
- You and your child(ren)
- Room outside which gives everyone playing freedom to move as needed
1. Suggest that you play a game of dodge ball outside on a nice day.
2. Ask your kids to help you patrol the lawn and pick up any toys that may have been left lying around.
3. Move any large pieces of lawn furniture to prevent any accidents from happening while you are playing
4. Discuss the rules for playing Nerf Dodge Ball
5. Choose the first person who wants to be it – the child who throws the ball first and tries to hit a player
6. The first person who gets hit below his waist changes places with “it” and now tries to hit someone else with the nerf ball