Tricks with a Bouncy Ball
Bouncy balls are one of the oldest children's toys still popular today. What you can do with a bouncy ball is really only limited by your imagination. Once you find a hard surface, you're ready to go. If your kids are having trouble coming up with game or trick variations, you should be able to suggest a few to help. According to the "Great Big Book of Children's Games," by Debra Wise, "It is every adult's task to make sure that a child's childhood is as rich, stimulating and joyful as possible" 1
This one is pretty straightforward but works well for younger children who can't keep track of details. Simply have the kids line up and bounce their balls to see whose will go the highest. Ideally, you'll want to be in a parking lot, school yard or driveway since they will provide the most amount of space and bouncing capability. Have an adult or an impartial child act as judge and decide whose ball has bounced the highest.
This trick works best in a school yard or against the side of building. The requirements are simple, but the game itself is slightly more difficult. The focus of the trick should be to bounce the ball off the ground and the wall with one throw and then catch the ball. It may take a few tries before younger kids get the hang of it, but once they do, they'll love the challenge it provides.
Two Child Bounce and Catch
This is a simple trick (and game of sorts) that can keep a couple of kids entertained for hours. Have the two children line up about five to six feet across from each other (suggest something closer or further away depending on their skill) and pass the bouncy ball back and forth using the ground to bounce it to one another. Once they've figured out the proper degree of force to put on the ball, they can continue doing this without moving around for awhile, then switch distances.
This trick requires several kids, probably about six to 10 of them, but less could be acceptable. Line up the children in a circle or straight line. Have them separate a bit so that there's enough space between them to bounce the ball. Start at one end of the circle/line and bounce the ball around so that each child bounces and receives in procession. An adult can watch and count how many times the ball is making it through the group without an error.
- "Great Big Book of Children's Games"; Debra Wise; 2003
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