Monday, July 6, 2015

Kindergarten Kicking and the Pool Noodle Obstacle Course

kindergarten age child kicking a ball through pool noodle arches


One of the Before Kindergarten skills that your child should have mastered is the ability to kick a ball. There are lots of ways to practice, but the important thing is to just do it! Get out there and kick the ball around with your child.


When I was doing diagnostic testing for children 2.5 to 5 years old, one of the physical skills we tested was if they could kick a ball that is still (stationary) as well as a moving ball. We would roll the ball down the hallway and encourage the little one to kick it back to us. It was fun, but what frequently surprised me was when a 4 or 5 year old had no idea how to kick and the parents would say "oh, I didn't know she was supposed to be able to do that. I've never done that with her before!"


I'll be honest, I struggle with the idea of just going outside and kicking a ball. It seems so boring. And after about 30 seconds, it is boring. But if you make a game of it, it's so much more fun.

kindergarten age child kicking a ball through pool noodle arches


Enter: the Pool Noodle Obstacle Course!


We found this idea a few years ago and we have loved it! Although, to be honest (lots of honesty today!) the first time we did this and Big Sister broke the course I was really frustrated! I think I've mellowed over the years!


Set it Up!

Get a few pool noodles and some dowels or bamboo skewers (we used the skewers) and a ball. Head outside and put a dowel in the ground. Slide one end of the pool noodle over the dowel and carefully arch it to see where you want to put the second dowel. Push that dowel into the ground and slide the second end of the pool noodle over it.

setting up a pool noodle obstacle course to work on kicking skillssetting up a pool noodle obstacle course to work on kicking skills



Put the ball at one end and get ready for some fun!


You Can Do It!

Have your child kick the ball under one or more than one of the arches. You can vary how the course looks by moving the pool noodles around your yard. If they are in a row, see if she can kick the ball through all of the arches. If you spread them around the yard, see how many kicks it takes to get it through all of the arches one at a time.


kindergarten age child kicking a ball through pool noodle archeskindergarten age child kicking a ball through pool noodle arches



Make it Just Right for Your Child!

Take it slow or make a race out of it, either way it'll be fun! You can even set up a line of them (like a net on a tennis court) and kick the ball back and forth going through the arch or around them.


Tips for Success:
  • set it up ahead of time for instant wow! There something to be said about walking out to the back yard to see it covered in colorful arches with a ball sitting there beckoning your child to come and play!
  • don't allow your child to sit on the arches, the dowels/skewers will break (and it's so sad!)
  • keep your eyes on your child when the arches are set up (for safety's sake)  
  • get the whole family involved, even littler ones can play

Have you done a pool noodle obstacle course before? How did it go?!

kindergarten age child kicking a ball through pool noodle arches




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