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Bat the Balloon

OBJECTIVE: Hand eye coordination & introduction to tennis

EQUIPMENT: Balloon and empty cardboard tube (from kitchen roll or wrapping paper)

ACTIVITY PREPARATION: Indoor space free of obstacles

Set the scene

Get the arms nice and warmed up by standing with feet shoulder width apart and start the arms swinging by making large circles with them. Start with both arms going forwards at the same time, then backwards at the same time and then finally see if you and your little one can have one arm swinging forward and at the same time another one swinging backwards.

Activity instructions

This is a simple exercise geared towards participation and you don’t need to concentrate on technique or coaching. It is more about introducing your child to the sensation of using a simple bat, whilst developing their hand eye coordination and sense of timing.

Inflate the balloon until it is around 80% full. Demonstrate to your little one how to hit the balloon around the room with the cardboard bat.

Next, allow your little explorer to hit the balloon around the room in whatever style they like. The key is having them engaged and enjoying themselves.

Progression

  • If you have two cardboard tubes, try to take turns hitting the balloon to each other while keeping the balloon in the air.
  • Draw face on the balloon, or add several different balloons and call out if they should be hitting the happy balloon, the sad balloon, the green one, blue one etc

Pro tip

Technique is not important, and this early introduction will transfer later in life when they are ready to start using sport specific racquets and bats.