There are days where we all need a little lift. We need something to just make us grin if even for just a bit. When you have kids, if that lift also helps them to develop their gross motor skills, and some social skills, it makes it that much better.
My son is super fortunate to be part of a program called Parents as Teachers. We get to meet with a specialist once every two weeks and we do activities and learning activities that promote growth, exploration, and developing. I love it. He loves it. He always looks forward to the visit and whatever fun new thing we will be making and doing. Mostly because mom then keeps that activity going for a very long.
On of our long standing favorites is the balloons from the door way activity. I think it has a much more fanciful name, something witty and cute. I call like like I see it, and right now I see three balloons hanging from my door ways. It is a great activity because it truly does make them work on their gross motor skills. A big part of the activity is being able to navigate a hand eye coordination. Being able to bounce the balloon off one hand or paddle, and hit it consistently is a big deal, and we have lots of cheering and ” I did it!” happening when we are playing.
Socially we all practice taking turns or helping each other without pushing shoving, being ornery to each other in general. They have to say please, thank you, excuse me. It is adorable to no end to hear these teeny little guys use such sweet manners. It also helps them to learn to be supportive. One of my older kiddos looked at the little ones and while patting him on the back said , ” It’s ok, you can do it.” and cheered him on to try again. Empathy! They are learning empathy!!
You only need 3 things to do it to. If you have kids I am almost positive you have these in the house or are super close to having them there. And if you want to get super fancy, you need just 2 more.
- Yarn- for hanging your lovely balloons
- Tape- they gotta stick up there somehow right! I use both painters tape and duct tape depending on where you are hanging them and how active your kiddo is with the balloons.
- BALLOONS!! yes we get that excited over balloons at my house.
Now if you want to get super fancy you grab a paper plate and a paint stick. You tape the two of those together and you have a paddle to help your little one learn hand eye coordination to hit the balloon. Having the balloon in the doorway also helps your house not be beaten into oblivion with a homemade paddle as well. Its contained fun! Once they get really good at bouncing the balloon in place, then you can feel brave and remove the yarn and have a whole new adventure.
It is amazing how the kids love this activity. I leave the balloons up for a while and they will naturally go and start creating their own games, and having to take turns. I have different colors of balloons so we can work on the names of the colors as well. I love how versatile this is in teaching the little ones so many different things. I also love that when the kids are not paying attention, every adult in my house plays with them too. Especially since one hangs in the bathroom doorway. The exit from the restroom has never been more entertaining.