July 5, 2010

Active Kids-Have we forgot the importance of playing ball?

by Lifestyle Expert, Kimmie Dillon

Did you know that there are numerous life lessons to be gained by playing ball? Yet with today’s hectic, high-tech lifestyle, playing a basic game of “catch” has gone by the wayside. I’ll never forget my amazement when my child’s teacher pointed out that many students in the class were unfamiliar with playing ball. So call it my mission…I am out to encourage all parents to head to the backyard and start spending some quality time together.

By playing catch with our kids, we are teaching them that quality time together matters. They will also learn the importance of perseverance and patience. That’s because it may take many throws before your child (or you!) is accurate at throwing and catching. Whenever a new skill is learned in life, we must exercise patience. Determination is also a good lesson that can be learned while playing ball. If a child just gives up, then no goals will be accomplished. And this is where a little parental encouragement comes in. By giving them a bit of a boost, we can teach our kids to have a “can do” attitude in life. Then there’s the physical stuff like good hand-eye coordination. By rolling the ball on the ground or throwing the ball in the air, our children learn how to measure distance and where to hold their hands to catch the ball. Similarly, judgment is another life skill that can be learned by this popular pastime. Our little ones will have to watch the ball, and judge its distance in order to successfully catch it. The same goes for them throwing the ball back to you. If you are standing 20 feet away, they will need to estimate this distance to make a successful throw. Probably the biggest gain your child will get is confidence. When you praise them for catching, rolling and throwing properly, you will elevate their self-esteem. In the long term, your child can apply this confidence to trying new things and finding success. Now plaaaaaaaaaaayyy ball!

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