Hitting, or striking, is a skill that requires eye-hand coordination. This is a fun skill to work on and here are some fun ways to practice!
Slow Moving Target
Blow up a balloon and hit it back and forth with your hands. You can do this with children of any age, even babies. Balloons move slowly, so it is a great introduction for a child to learning how to track a ball with their eyes. You can also encourage your child to catch the balloons and then progress to running and catching the balloons on the move.
Hitting a Stationary Ball
Set up a cone or numerous cones in your home or yard. I find big orange cones work the best. Place a ball on top of each cone. Give your child a ping-pong paddle, racquet or bat to strike the ball(s) off of the top of the cones. If your child is taller than the cone, I suggest buying a baseball tee to place the ball on.
Making Contact with a Moving Target
Take a whiffle ball and attach a string to it, so you can hang it from a tree or a doorway. Give your child a ping-pong paddle, racquet or bat to strike the hanging ball. The ball is moving in this activity which combines tracking the ball and hitting the ball with a racquet/bat.
This is a great for development because the ball keeps coming back and your child will get a lot of repetitions.
Game Time! Games that encourage Hitting!
Here are some more advanced games you can play.
What this Works On
Body Awareness, Eye-Hand Coordination, Movement
How to Play
1. Blow up one balloon.
2. Make an imaginary “net” or a line on the ground. We usually use a shoe to mark the net position. Each player stands on opposite sides of the net facing each other. To start the game, one player serves the balloon across the net to the other player.
3. After the ball is served, hit the balloon back and forth over the net.
4. You are only allowed to hit the ball at an upward trajectory. No spiking the balloon at the ground!
5. Each player or team (if you are playing with more than two players) is allowed to hit the balloon twice (or 3 times, if you prefer) before it goes over the net. If the balloon hits the ground on your side of the net, you lose the point. Play to 7 points.
Blow up 2 balloons. Use the same “net.” Each player (or team) starts with a balloon and serves the balloon across the net at the same time to start the game. Then, each player (or team) can touch the balloon once or twice before hitting it over the net.
Quick Variation Tip
You don’t want to have both balloons on your side at the same time. You lose the point when either balloon hits the ground on your side of the net. Play to 7 points.