The team behind the Jumping Bean Bag send us one of Bean Bag CLub kids a couple of weeks ago. I was keen to try it out, as anything that gets my kids active is a good thing (we do far too much crafting!!!).
The little box arrived, the kids were straight into it. The little bean bags are jolly and bright. The crafty so and so in me thought.. mmh, I can make that…. well yes, I can. BUT. Here is the but. The box comes with a get physical booklet and DVD. And I think this is where the real value of this activity set lies. Yes, we all know how to play with a ball. Or yes, I made some juggling chooks recently. But there is one thing having them, and quite another knowing what to do with them!
“Look, Mummy, I can balance it!” 3yrs old
So far we have only explore the booklet – it has given us plenty to do – from warm up exercise to balancing and jumping. I love all the pretend activity (can you be a rocket and reach the stars?) and action songs/ lyrics.
The kids took to them straight away and The Boy (5yrs) even wanted to take his to bed with him. Well, it really is a cute little buddy to have!
Once we tire of the booklet, we will reinvigorate our activities with the DVD. Also the Jumping Bean Bag reminds me of the “hacky sacks” of the 80s – remember those? Though not a ball made for “kicking”, I do like the idea of improving dexterity and hand eye co-ordination by doing different tricks with it.
The boy making up some of his own moves (catching the bean bag behind his back).
So far our favourite activities include:
- Normal “throwing up and catching”
- Throwing the bag to each other
- Throwing 2 bean bags to each other at the same time
- Balancing on one leg and placing the bean bag on the foot of the OTHER leg
- Balancing again and seeing if you can flip the bean bag up from the other foot and catch it (3yrs old still has to practice!!)
- Balancing the bean bag on our head and catching it behind our back
- Stretching arms out sideways and balancing a bean bag on the back of each hand
- Juggle (mummy)
As much as anything, I think the kids enjoy doing this together with me or Daddy – anything that involves focussed parental time goes down well in our house! And we all got active!
FYI: we received a free set of Jumping Bean Bags
This is a new series about getting kids active – in your home or garden, in small, but fun ways. Practicing simple skills that will help them become better at sports and sporting games. They are all from the Set4Sports supported by Judy Murray (no other than Andy Murray’s mum!), with our family “take on it”. And Set4Sports have kindly agreed for me to share them with you here – whatever gets family’s active and into sports is good for them!
Getting Active, doesn’t necessarily take a lot of space. And it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of equipment. Simple things from around the home will help you.
Please note: these activities ARE simple. That is the whole point. But you can make them more complicate as your child learns and gets the hang of them. And more importantly, they are FUN and your child will love playing with you.
Today’s activity is “Toddler Tennis”.
Materials: 2 chairs, a rope/ skipping rope/ washing line and a couple of soft toys
What to do:
- Tie your rope between two chairs and create a “tennis net” for your toddler.
- Then get your child to throw you the toy. You catch it and throw it back.
- Once they have the hang of it, get a second toy, and you both throw and catch a toy at the same time!
- If you want you can also start taking scores and practice counting and numbers.
- Enlist older children to play with each other and start making it into a proper little sporting event!
Why kids like this & what the gain:
- The “tennis net” makes it feel like a real game and not just an “activity”.
- Developing hand eye co-ordination for catching.
- Learning to throw the ball in a specific direction.
How it went for us:
This is the first game we played, whilst with the Set4Sports team.
And the first thing that I got out of this was quite how much The Girl was having fun. She was just SO SO SO happy and giggling away through out all of it.
The second thing I noticed, was how good she was at catching, but that we still need to practice “directional” throwing some more.
We were not able to play it with two toys at once, but it was nice to have an option for playing the same game again at home, without making it boring. We can’t wait to have a go and involve The Boy in it too!
Thank you again for the team from Set4Sports. We had a wonderful day exploring different activities with both the children. They had SO MUCH fun! And I can’t wait to share more with you, as well as do some more at home with them!!! It was wonderful meeting Judy Murray – such a kind and inspiring mum!
Afterwards, we spent a lovely afternoon at London Zoo. Fabulous.