Tuesday, June 16, 2015

“Roll the Ball” – Deceptively Easy, Delightfully Fun!

   Miss Carole from Macaroni Soup here in Chicago.  By the time this post goes live, the Blackhawks will have either won the Stanley Cup or subjected me to a Game 7 – I am hoping for my sanity that it is cup-kissing time at The United Center!
Roll the ball to me!

   However, not to leave you in the lurch for a monthly musical activity for indoors or out, I am dusting off one of my student’s favorites: “Roll the Ball”.  I’m not sure where I learned it – anyone out there know who wrote it, or what 78 rpm record it was on during my childhood in Massachusetts?  Or did my mother make it up and play it with me?  Who knows?
   “Ball” was one of my daughter’s first words – and in 26 years of teaching I’ve yet to find a child who didn’t enjoy playing with one!

   “Roll the Ball” can be done with very young children – either playing with another child, or with an adult.  Partners sit facing each other, legs extended (V-seat.)  Toddlers and Preschoolers sit with feet touching their partner’s, while K’s can sit a little further apart if space allows.

Bounce the ball. Bounce the ball!

Roll the ball. Roll the ball. 
Roll the ball to me. 
Roll it, roll it. 
Roll the ball to me.

Bounce the ball. Bounce the ball.
Bounce the ball to me. 
Bounce it. Bounce it. 
Bounce the ball to me.

You lose it - go get it!

Toss the ball. Toss the ball.  Toss the ball to me. 
Toss it. Toss it. 
Toss the ball to me.
Hear it here.  
    Demonstrate what rolling (keeping the ball on the floor) looks like by sitting with a partner and pushing the ball gently back and forth while singing.  Note that the ball stays on the floor.  For the second verse, give the ball a gentle bounce toward your partner – keeping it a gentle bounce, not over your partner’s head!  If the ball scoots away, children must retrieve their own ball.
    Now you are ready for everyone to find a partner and sit facing them, legs extended.  
Give one ball to each couple.  I use tennis balls, but small beach balls work well, too.  Begin singing. With 3 year olds and younger, I then return to rolling to end the session.
With PreK 4’s and K’s, I add the third verse: “Toss the ball!”  Demonstrate that it is not a throw – it is an underhand toss into your partner’s waiting hands.  I encourage the catching child to make “cup hands” for a target.  Repeat the verse 3-4 times, as this is a skill that takes practice. As above, for your final verse return to rolling – get that ball down on the floor again to bring the excitement level down.
When we have done our final “roll the ball verse” I say, “FREEZE!  Whoever is has the ball right now may bring it to the ball bin.”  This makes it so that there isn’t a fight for who puts the ball away.
Great Big Ball!

   There you have it – simple, skill-based and fun!  Children work on gross motor coordination, cooperation, teamwork, communication, vocabulary and singing while moving …and they think it’s just an enjoyable game!

   For another excellent singing game with a ball, check out my September 2013 blog: Great Big Ball.  It’s another favorite!

Yours for a Ball Song!

"Miss Carole" Peterson Stephens

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