It’s a Strike! Physical Activities like Bowling with Water Bottles Build Skills

Photo by shalamov / iStock
Photo by shalamov / iStock

By Rachel Ward

Your always-moving, somersaulting preschooler is bouncing all over the place. That’s exactly what they should be doing: Around age three, children have also reached a new threshold of abilities. They can walk and run, reach and grab, toss and throw, and hop and jump—and they’re reveling in their newfound freedom.

“Most preschoolers now have control over their large muscles, so they’re tackling more physical tasks than ever, which also builds independence and self-esteem,” explains Meg Davis from KinderCare’s Education team.

Luckily, we’ve got the perfect activity to help kids build their physical skills: bowling with water bottles!

Bowling in Preschool Builds Physical Skills like Coordination and Spatial Awareness

All we do is hand over some soft playground balls and let the kids take turns trying to knock a row of water bottles down! Preschoolers have a ball (wink, wink) with this activity—and, unbeknownst to them, they’re also getting a chance to practice physical skills they’re still in the process of mastering.

“When children aim at a target, they’re building their eye-hand coordination,” says Davis. “Their spatial awareness skills (knowing where your body is compared to other objects) are also getting a boost as children try to judge how much force they need to put behind the ball in order to hit the target.”

We’re taking care of the learning while you’re at work, but there are a lot of fun ways you can help your preschooler develop coordination and spatial awareness at home! Check out our fast and easy ideas below.

Wiggle, Move, and Shake! 5 Physical Fitness Games to Play with Your Preschooler

1. Play “Simon Says”

Can your child pat their head and shake their left foot at the same time? This classic follow-the-leader game helps kids gain control over their muscles and teaches them where different parts of their bodies are.

Photo by Jessica Byrum / Stocksy / 951260
Photo by Jessica Byrum / Stocksy

2. Play “Hide and Seek”

There are some great places to hide when you’re barely two feet tall! Amidst the gleeful excitement of trying to hide before the countdown ends, kids are thinking about places they can hide behind or underneath, which is building their awareness of how their bodies compare to other objects.

3. Build a Makeshift Obstacle Course

Can they reach the end successfully? All it takes is a little creativity with your furniture, whether indoor or out, to craft an obstacle course for your preschooler to run through. They could crawl through a makeshift tunnel created from a sheet and a row of chairs, jump through a line of Hula hoops on the ground, or run to the finish line balancing a beanbag on their head!

4. Sing “The Hokey Pokey”

Aside from inspiring giggles and getting out the wiggles, “The Hokey Pokey” is great for helping kids gain control over their bodies and develop spatial awareness as they focus on putting their feet in and out, and shaking all about!

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