If you anticipate having a bored child at some point this winter, it’s a good idea to have a stash of knit gloves, Velcro dots and practice golf balls hidden away. I took these along when visiting with my tiny nieces and nephew at the holidays, and they helped me with these pictures.
First you want to stick the scratchy Velcro dots to the practice golf balls. (Don’t stick the scratchy dots on the gloves or the gloves will stick to themselves and you’ll end up with a frustrated child. Not what we’re going for here!)
Crafting lets you sneak in all kinds of other learning. If you want the kids to work on their counting skills, give instructions like, “Let’s put five dots on this ball.”
You don’t really need the softer Velcro dots on the gloves, but the kids will probably like sticking them on.
My little niece really enjoyed this part. She put her hands in the gloves to see how far up she needed to put the dots, and then imagined herself much bigger and put the dots way above her fingertips. The gloves themselves will work as the soft Velcro to catch the balls, so no correction was needed. Let them imagine big grown up hands, it’s all good.
When it’s time to play, it’s better to just use one glove to catch and keep one hand glove-free to pull off the ball and throw back. Tell them it’s like baseball, you just wear one.
Suddenly they’re WAY better at playing catch than they’ve ever been before! All you need to do is toss the ball to their hands and it will stick.
Catch played this way helps younger kids and older kids to play together with much less “can’t catch” drama. My sports minded brother in law noticed that gloves made it easier to catch the “right” way, either over or underhanded, and thought it would help in their sports development. I just liked having quiet craft time with a group of small kids of different ages, and they ended up with self-made toys they could keep. This craft was a winner all the way around!