This week at the House of Burke is "Having a Ball" Week!! Kingston has been really into balls recently (get your minds out of the gutter people!!). For Easter, the bunny brought him a big blue ball and a small spikey blue ball. He has been playing with them daily and loves to bounce and roll them. I thought it would be fun to pick up a few more balls at the Dollar Tree, gather all of the various balls K has around the house, get together our books that showcase different balls and sports, and put together a week long "Baby School" for him focused on an item that he has really been enjoying.
Everything in this new and exciting world poses a learning opportunity for Kingston. Everything is new and exciting to him. Therefore, when I focus on a topic with him, I like to regard it as "Baby School"! It's fun to take a certain topic and find fun ways to explore it with him. I am happy with whatever he takes from it. I will be doing more and more "Baby School" weeks and activities with him as time goes on. He really seems to enjoy when we focus on certain subjects and I like it because it is reinforcing one of the many concepts he has yet to explore!
So without further ado, today I brought out all of the balls that Kingston has: a beach ball, a blue bouncy ball, a set of soft baseballs, a set of soft basketballs, an O-Ball Football, and a soft Taggie Football. I gave them to him one at a time and we talked about each one.
First up, I let him explore the beach ball! I purchased this today at the Dollar Tree, so he had never seen it before.
He shrieked when I gave it to him and immediately tried to wrap his arms around it and bite it! It was so adorable because the ball was bigger than him. We practiced rolling it. I would roll it to him and he would try to hold onto it. Then, we went over each of the colors on the beach ball. I patted each color and twisted the ball as I announced them. As I named them and twisted the ball, he tried his best to bite each one with no success! It was hilarious and even got him giggling.
Next up, he played with his blue bouncy ball.
It was impossible to get a clear picture of him playing with this one because he loves it so much. He loves when I bounce it to him and gently toss it onto his chest. I bounced the ball up and down and said "bounce, bounce, bounce". We talked about the pretty blue color of the ball. Then I drummed on the ball with my palms open and he shrieked with excitement! He loved when I slapped the ball and said "boom boom boom!" This is definitely one of his favorites.
Next, he explored the soft basketballs.
This was Kingston's first time seeing a basketball. I noted that the color was orange and then while he played, I explained that this ball gets thrown into a basket. I talked about dribbling and tried to demonstrate which was pretty much impossible since this ball has no bounce, but it made for a funny display!
After he finished with the basketballs, I introduced him to the baseballs!
I loved watching him play with these! I briefly ran through the baby version of what baseball is. Then I gently threw the ball to him which he got a big kick of. He scooped it right up and tried to toss it back. He has quite the arm for a 6 month old! I used the words, "throw", "toss", and "catch" while we played. Then, I read DK's Touch and Feel Baseball with him. He touched each picture as I read. It was a great way to reinforce the concept of the game. The baseball on the cover was a great way to compare a picture to its real life representation.
He played with his spikey blue ball next. It is a great sensory activity in itself with it spikes and somewhat sticky texture. It is also translucent which is fun. We didn't have a soccer ball for him to view today, so I took this as an opportunity to talk about kicking a ball. I stood him up and practiced kicking. He was more interested in walking around the room though!
Kingston's Glam*MatheGreat (aka Macon) gave him a set of Elmo lift-the-flap books recently. Inside was this Elmo's World: Balls! (Sesame Street) (Sesame Street(R) Elmos World(TM)) lift-the-flap book. We read this book and I pointed out the balls in the book and the ones we were playing with in real life. He loved touching the flaps.
After we read the book, I took the beach ball and the small blue ball and showed him "big" and "small". Then I went through the colors again and we counted the balls. I told him that balls are spheres. I probably could have said they were circles, but hey I'm raising a genius here! Only kidding! But, mine as well tell him what shape they TRULY are. I reinforce colors, shapes, numbers, and letters in everything we learn and do. Those are the most important fundamentals to me, and I expect they will be the first things he really learns. I can't tell you how many times a day I point out colors and sing the alphabet! Repetition is key! :)
Kingston had a great time playing with the different sports balls and reading books about them. Please leave any links in the comments for ball activities or games that you have done with your child! We would love to see them. Stay tuned for more posts centered around K's new favorite play thing.