So it’s Day 5 of holiday break and your kid’s screen time is out of control? Flip her focus! Kids with better hand-eye coordination score higher on basic academic skills, found a study in Psychological Science.
We went to expert Margaret Rice, a physical therapist and coauthor of Therapeutic Play Activities for Children, to give you some fun activity options that don't need a device and just might help strengthen her math, reading, and writing smarts.
The Game: Hoop Toss
Hang a Hula-Hoop from a tree branch (or tape it to the top of a doorway if you’re inside), then swing it gently. Have your child try to toss a beanbag or a sock ball through the hoop from about 10 feet away. Younger kids can throw sock balls into either a stationary laundry basket or one that you move.
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The Game: Movable Catch
Start by challenging your child to bump and catch a balloon while she’s walking. Once she gets the knack of it, she can practice this with a large ball and then increasingly smaller balls. Ramp up the game by asking her to run in zigzag patterns while you throw her a football.
The Game: Find the Shell
Place a small shell under one of three opaque cups in front of your child. Move the cups around while your child tries to keep an eye on which one contains the shell. Then, stop moving the cups and challenge him to pick the right one.