Coordination involves gross motor movements that require motor planning, accuracy, and timing. It can also involve rapid alternating movements and is challenged when closing your eyes or performing movements at a faster pace. An example is jumping jacks. The legs and the arms are doing their own thing and require the right timing to make it work. You can break it down into small parts and then add them together. You can also start slow and then make them faster! Actually we recommend starting all of these activities slowly and then gradually making them faster.
Here are a few exercises to practice your coordination.
- Hand Clapping Games:
- Games such as Patty Cake, Slide, and Miss Mary Mack are great hand games
- They allow you to practice coordination, mental focus, counting, and rhythm
- They require motor planning
- They combine varied movements such as crossing midline, alternating movements, and bilateral use of hands
- This promotes accuracy and challenges mental cognition to remember patterns while singing out loud
- And for a little one, using a game like Patty Cake also helps them work on their imitation skills!
- Jumping rope:
- In addition to practicing coordination, jumping rope is a great full body workout
- It works on works on timing and rhythm and requires multiple upper and lower body movements simultaneously
- There are lots of different ways to jump rope
- Try some single jump and double jumps or even jumping with your arms are crossed
- Try practicing without the rope first!
- Dribbling a basketball:
- Ball skills such as throwing, catching, and dribbling a ball involve hand eye coordination
- Developing the rhythm and skill to correctly grade how hard to bounce a ball and perform consecutive bounces takes coordination
- Using different combinations of dribbling is a great to incorporate using both hands and alternating hands
- Once a child can dribble standing in place, they can challenge themselves by walking and eventually running while dribbling
- Check out this post and this post on how to learn dribbling skills!
- Dribbling a soccer ball:
- Ball skills such as kicking, trapping, and dribbling a soccer ball involve foot eye coordination
- These movements can be a little more challenging than those requiring hand eye coordination
- Practice these skills by kicking with both legs and alternating the foot used to dribble a ball
- Start off slowly by walking up to and kicking a stationary ball before dribbling while running
- Check out this post and this post for more kicking tips!
Let us know what other activities you do to help with coordination. And for more information on Coordination, check out our round-up blog post!