Balance & Co-ordination – French Cricket

Developing Balance With Brain Bridging

This fun game can be a hoot for developing balance and is a real “brain bridging” activity (getting the two sides of the brain to talk to each other) as it requires crossing the midline of the body.

This is important for development of smooth and co-ordinated movement and thinking skills.Have fun!

 

French Cricket

Child stands with feet together, and must not move from that position, holding a racket or bat with both hands to hit away a partially deflated beach ball.

The aim is to stay in for 10 hits in a row. If their feet move or their legs are hit by the ball, they have to field or bowl.
Balls are bowled from where last they landed ( even if behind them)– so strategic thinking is required.

Winner is first one to achieve the 10 hits (or less if necessary).

Variations:

1. For increased balance challenge – have your child stand on a cushion or a phone book taped with with duct tape.

2. Reduce  difficulty for balance and co-ordination by
– just using hands to hit away ball for younger children,
– or suspend ball
– or use a balloon and a pool noodle
– and if standing still is just way too hard – try getting them to sit on a stool or a gym ball (if the latter make sure you do it on the grass in case of falling).

3. To add some pre-reading and/or early maths, add a password to allow getting into hitting position – you say a word and they have to do one of the following:

  • generate 5 unique rhymes
  • say a word beginning with a particular sound
  • complete a simple maths problem e.g. 1+1= ?

 


Also works on:
Strength & endurance; bilateral co-ordination; eye-hand co-ordination; attention; joint movement awareness (can be calming); strategic thinking and with variations added, also works on early literacy (metalinguistics), working memory and maths skills.

 

 

Activity Materials

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You Will Need...

  1. A bat – any long handled kind will do, if you don’t have a bat you can use a solid stick (just use a very soft ball in this case) – just consider what is safe for your child to use.
  2. Something to mark the spot – a towel or a hula hoop are easy to start with
  3. A “ball” – we’ve used a rolled up sock