I have officially named my tennis ball head Munchy Ball, and I guess he is like a frog because he likes to eat little bugs.
I made a little game to incorporate visual motor skills, motor planning, fine motor strength, and writing.
I duct taped four little plastic tubs together and put a number in each one. Then we threw a squishy ball/bean bag into the basket. The number you landed in was how many bugs your Munchy got to eat.
The kids then picked out the right number of bugs, and also grabbed a crumpled up strip of paper with a word (or a letter) written on it. They had to uncrumple the paper, read the word (or letter), and then put the paper down. Then they could go back to their seat, feed Munchy Ball, and then write their word (or letter). The kids took multiple turns throwing the ball, picking their word and bugs, and writing, and most of them did not want the game to end.
It was good practice in graded motor control when the kids had to un-crumple their paper without ripping it. There could also include some good in-hand manipulation work when picking up the bugs and feeding the ball. It is also difficult for some kids to remember the word (and how it is spelled) while they are feeding their Munchy Ball.
If there has to be a winner of the game, it is the person who got the most bugs.
I have a couple other posts on the blog about tennis ball heads if you want to check them out.
- Munchy Ball (Tennis ball head)
- plastic bins or small cardboard boxes
- bugs or other small “food”
- strips of paper with words on them (crumpled)
- fine motor
- visual motor
- finger strengthening
- visual memory