image retrieved from syllybillywaterballoons.com
It has been so nice here that yesterday for group we decided to take the kids outside to do a water balloon toss. They loved it! Water balloons are a great way to add a fun and motivating twist on other skills that you are working on. In addition water play is always fun in the warm months. Here are a few of the things that you can work on with water balloons:
- Catching and Throwing: The great thing about water balloons is that you can adjust how fragile it is. If you get bigger balloons you can fill them only a little and they are really hard to break so the kids get something that has a little bit of weight in it for throwing and catching but it has some nice give making it a little easier to catch and it won’t break with the slightest touch. You can make it a game and see how many catches they can get without breaking the balloon and as they progress in the skill you can make the balloon more fragile by using smaller balloons and/or filling them fuller! Throwing and catching also works on hand-eye coordination and social skills. Kids need to make sure their partner is ready to catch and the partner has to pay attention. They get to use teamwork to get to the end result.
- Target Practice: Adding on the throwing and the hand-eye coordination you can set up hula hoops or spots on the ground (the smaller they are the harder it is to hit and vice versa) and have the kids try to throw the balloons at the target. You can add points to it if you want and include bonus points if they can throw with enough force and accuracy that they break the balloon on the target! This allows them to work on force production with throwing as well as accuracy.
- Over Under Relay: This is one of my favorite relays because it needs a lot of teamwork and the kids can work on sequencing as well. They alternate passing the water balloon over their head and then through their legs from person to person. They get to communicate to the next person that the balloon is coming and yell out ‘over’ or ‘under’ to let them know where to look for it.
- Stomping: You can have the kids try to stomp on their balloons to break them. This works on foot-eye coordination, force production in the legs and single leg stance. Not to mention if they take their shoes off there is lots of sensory input happening!
What other water balloon games do you play with kids?
And, for older kids you can work on fine motor skills and hand strength by having them help fill up the water balloons!