How to Teach Kids to Juggle in Kindergarten
Juggling is difficult for a kindergartner, but keep the process simple and you'll find that attempting to learn to juggle helps kids improve other important skills 1. Your child will practice gross motor skills such as catching and throwing, hand-eye coordination, balance and even strengthening the non-dominant hand. Juggling also encourages learning patience, dedication, creativity, problem-solving, and even self-esteem as kids learn that sticking with a difficult skill can lead to success. Juggling starts as the simple process of learning to keep three items in the air, but has endless possibilities for kids far beyond kindergarten age.
Traditional juggling is generally taught with balls or bean bags, but most kindergartners will lack the tracking and coordination skills necessary to keep track of these faster-moving juggling objects. Instead, supply your kindergarten kids with square scarves made of silk or a similar light material. Scarves are easier for younger children to throw and catch because they move more slowly in the air and offer more surface area to grab onto.
Start kindergarten juggling lessons simple by starting with one scarf. Teach your children to toss one scarf into the air. Then, have them toss the scarf into the air and try to clap their hands together while the scarf is in the air. Then, teach them to catch the scarf with one hand. Once that sequence is mastered, jazz up the lesson by asking the kids to catch the scarves with different parts of their body, such as their elbows or head. Then, practice tossing the scarf up and over to the other hand in the shape of a rainbow.
Once kindergartners have gotten the hang of tossing one scarf from hand to hand, add another scarf to the mix. Again, keep it simple by throwing each scarf into the air, one after the other and letting them fall to the ground. Then, try tossing one scarf into the air, passing the other scarf across to the throwing hand, and then catching the original scarf in the second hand, making the scarves move in a circle. Teach kindergartners to throw the scarves in an X shape by practicing tossing the scarves across the body. They can drift to the floor at first, but then have kindergartners try to catch them with the opposite hand of the throwing hand.
Your kindergartner might never reach the point of juggling three scarves at a time, and that is completely age-appropriate. However, if he wants to try three, teach your child how to hold two scarves in one hand while only throwing one at a time. The child will hold the scarf not being thrown in his fist and the throwing scarf between his thumb and index finger. Next, build on the X-shaped throw practiced before by tossing the scarf held with the thumb and index finger across the body first, then the single scarf held in the other hand, then the second scarf from the first hand. Don't expect your child to catch the scarves just yet.
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