Coordination is a child’s ability to get their arms and legs working in conjunction with their brain. Whether playing games, taking part in sport or doing schoolwork, coordination skills are vital for child development and will provide a base for future success.
Before children begin to develop coordination, it is important to have good balance. Take a look at our balance games and activities.
Here are some great ways to improve coordination…
In pairs, one child holds a hoola hoop whilst the other throws beanbags through the hoop. Mark out several throwing distances with cones and each time there is a successful throw, children move to the next distance. This will develop hand-eye coordination.
-Make it hard: make the throwing distances further apart.
-Make it harder: use smaller hoola hoops at a range of distances.
-Make it easier: use bigger hoola hoops and put them on the floor. Children have to throw the beanbags in the hoops on the ground.
-Games; each time a bean bag goes through the hoop, points are scored, the team with the most points wins. The further the distance of the hoola hoops, the number of points increases.
What will you need? Beanbags, hoola hoops, stopwatch, balls.
Playing in pairs, involve both children by alternating thrower and hoola hoop holder.
In pairs, children stand facing each other and throw and catch balls between themselves. Set a range of distances using throw down spots. This will develop hand-eye coordination.
-Make it hard: use a smaller ball to increase the challenge.
-Make it harder: catch with one hand.
-Make it easier: change the game to rolling or bouncing the ball to each other.
-Games; Using a stopwatch, play games such as how many catches can be done in a minute. Or similarly, catch the ball 10 times in the pair and then sit down.
What will you need? Throw down spots, beanbags, balls, stopwatch, throw down spots.
Play in pairs or create larger group games, measure and record times using a stopwatch and whiteboards.
Bouncing a ball on a bat whilst stood stationary on a throw down spot. This will develop hand-eye coordination whilst developing static balance.
-Make it hard: balance rubber quoit on head at same time.
-Make it harder: balance rubber quoit whilst walking in a straight line.
-Make it easier: balance the ball on the bat whilst stood stationary.
-Games; count the number of hits or time how long the child can go for without dropping the ball.
What will you need? Balls, bats, spots, rubber quoit, beanbag, stopwatch.
Play individually whilst looking to improve personal best
Using cones to set a target goal area, set a range of distances from where children kick the ball towards the goal.
-Make it hard: make the target goal area smaller.
-Make it harder: shoot from different angles and distances.
-Make it easier: make the target goal are bigger and shoot from closer range.
-Games; Encourage development by progressing to the next distance after a child has shot and scored through the cones.
What will you need? Balls, cones, stopwatch.
Play individually or introduce team games to create competitive games.
By working on coordination, children will learn to use their brains and have greater control over their body. Not only will this will set them up for success in playing games and sports with their peers, it will also have an impact on academic and life skills.
As always, ensuring children are safe during these activities is very important. It is important to use the appropriate matting and safety procedures when carrying out the above activities.
The possibilities are endless! Get creative and make these activities easier or harder depending on progression – and if you have an idea about any great games, please let us know. Measure and encourage development through the use of team games, personal bests and races, measuring times and distances with a stopwatch and whiteboard.