Balls and Hoops: Pass-It-Back Relays
Children are aces at creating their own races!
- Grades: PreK–K
- Several plastic cones
- Clipboard, paper, pencil
Children will develop motor skills and engage in activities that encourage teamwork and creative thinking.
Talk with children about different kinds of ball games they are familiar with. Ask: What is your favorite ball game? What kind of ball do you need to play it? Encourage children to discuss how the games change when teams are involved. Ask: What do you like best about being a part of a team? How is it easier to play a game when you're part of a team? How does it make the game harder?
- Before leaving for the playground, explain to children that they will be playing several relay games. Ask them to remain as a group when they reach the playground so they can easily organize themselves for the game.
- Ask children to form a straight line. Draw a thick line with chalk to specify where they should stand. Explain that you would like them to think of different ways to move the ball from the front of the line to the back. Write down children's ideas and use them to develop each race. As the ball reaches the back of the line, the last person will move to the front.
- Place a plastic cone a few feet from the front of the line. Invite children to create a few relay-race games using the ball to reach the cone before passing it to the next child in line. Record children's ideas, then begin.
- Space several plastic cones a few feet apart. Ask children to take turns moving the ball with their feet through the cones before passing it to the next person. Invite them to brainstorm other ways to move through the cones.
- During group time, ask children to discuss the relay races they played. Which ones did they like best? Ask them to think of other types of objects they might be able to use in the race.
For younger children: Simplify the activity by having children run to you with the ball and then back to their group of friends.
For older children: See if children can invent their own relay-race games and use their suggestions during outdoor play time.
Remember: Children over four may get competitive when playing games that involve motor skills. Remind them that there are no winners or losers-just players.
Spin-Off: Use a digital sports stopwatch to time the children's relay races, and invite children to take turns timing different races. Keep a list of the different times to record on a graph later. Engage children in a discussion comparing the different times of each race. Which races were longer? Why were some races quicker?