I don’t know whether it is just my home, but somehow we ended up with lots of these really annoying balls! They are those ones found in supermarket doorways and family friendly pubs! Anyway, I NEVER give in and buy them as the toys are pretty much worse than useless and what can you do with a load of plastic balls?? I am always one for a challenge though and when my sister said, (after a party, where J acquired the above balls), “they’ll be on your blog before long!” Well, that was that – I set to work!
In fact, these balls have been used for SEVERAL games for both baby G and J and have proved, well… not useless after all!!
First things first, I opened the balls and ditched the toys – actually I put them in J’s recycling basket, next to his art station, so he can ‘use them to make something!’ Next, I filled one with a few pasta shells, one with rice, one with pompoms, a couple with stones and left the others empty. I love collecting different colour and interesting balls whenever I am shopping! If I see one I haven’t got, I get it! They are so interesting for baby/toddler and can be used for so many things! I put my ‘homemade’ balls and a couple of shop bought ones in a basket for G and let her explore. The only thing I changed was her position. She was lying on her back, front and sat in between my legs for different perspectives on the balls! This activity is also FAB for those babies beginning to crawl or who are crawling as they can roll them around too!
The sensory development opportunities just from providing G with these balls are vast! The plastic balls I filled with different household items made lovely sounds for G to listen to! I shook them at different positions around her head so that she could track the sounds with her ears. She likes the sound of the rice the best and had a go at shaking it herself. When she was lying on her back she was flapping her arms to make the balls move. This is the beginning of understanding cause and effect and babies need to have lots of opportunities to know that their actions cause things to happen. G pushed them away and then tried to roll to see where they were. So this was great for her gross motor development too!
Like all babies, G puts things straight in her mouth. This is to develop her sense of taste and to examine the objects more closely. G loves this particular ball as she is starting to teeth so she likes the sensation of this one on her gums! Trying to put this ball in her mouth is also good for developing her hand/eye coordination as she has to aim for the right place!
I love the ball pictured below! Because the the different shapes and position of the shapes within the plastic, the ball glimmers! As you can see, G was a little perplexed by this one! Due to the size of it, it kept dropping on the floor as G couldn’t grasp it! She also liked watching it fall and roll away; another example of cause and effect discovery for baby G!
Finally, G really wants to sit up and loves this new perspective on the world. In this position, G could get a very good view of all the balls and she liked reaching for them! She did get frustrated when she couldn’t pick them up but she will one day! Turns out, the hideous plastic balls added a great ‘sound sensory’ opportunity to this experience for G so thank you to everyone at the party who was suckered into buying one for J! He is VERY persuasive!! To play this game, any balls will do – as long as they roll, that’s all you need!! I bought another ball yesterday with liquid and fluffy, colourful bits floating in it!!