Well, we've been off the courts for over a month now, and in our home the cabin fever has really started to settle in. The kids are bickering, the adults are sighing, and while the extra time together has been a dream, we miss our friends and our tennis fam something fierce.
Of course we are just itching to get back on the courts, but we won't let that lead us to make any rash decisions that we might regret down the line. We will continue to stay informed, and weight the guidelines for re-opening against what we feel we can control both on and off the courts, for everyone's safety.
That being said, we wanted to share some fun hand eye coordination building activities that you can do at home! Make sure you use this time wisely and when you sense the kids need a break from all that screen time, get them moving! Moving your body is a sure fire way to increase oxygen to the brain, get those endorphins pumping and put a smile back on everyone's faces.
1. Play catch. I know, I know it sounds too good to be true, right? Well, playing catch is still one of the very best ways to improve hand eye coordination in both kids and adults. :) Need to spice it up a bit? Try moving further away from each other or adding a target or obstacle to your game. For example, see if you can catch a ball while walking, while running, while jumping on one foot. See if you can throw a ball through a hula hoop, onto the trampoline or better yet, see if you can catch a ball while jumping on the trampoline!
2. Bounce and catch against the wall. Stand about 6 feet away from a sturdy outdoor wall or garage door and toss a tennis ball over hand against the wall, allowing it to bounce on the ground before catching it again. Start off slowly and once you get the hang of it, see how quickly you can bounce and catch. Once you can work up to a consistent rhythm, try shuffling back and forth while bouncing and catching.
3. Play Hot Potato! You know how it goes, you stand in a circle with your family and toss a ball (or a real potato if you are feeling fancy) around the circle until the music stops. The goal is to pass the potato as quickly as you can because once the music stops, the person holding the potato is out. Repeat this until there is one person remaining! Congratulations you win having to cook dinner again! Kidding..... kinda.
4. Jump Rope. Yes, even jumping rope helps improve hand eye coordination as it takes a lot of body awareness to be able to get the timing of the swing and the jump down just right. Can your kids jump rope? If they can, have them spend a few minutes jumping rope each day, this is a fantastic exercise for conditioning and coordination. If your kids can't jump rope just yet, help them get there by breaking it down into 2 steps. 1. with the rope lying on the ground in front of them, pick up both ends, jump over it so the rope is now behind them with the ends in their hands. 2. practice swinging the rope back overhead so that it lands in front of them again. Repeate step 1. jump. Show them how to do this with a little flick of the wrist instead of a large arm swing. If they can do steps 1 and 2 with some consistency, they will eventually be able to jump rope - it just takes practice!
5. Really? You're still reading this? OK fine, so our final hand eye coordination game is called ceiling taps - gently (underhand) throwing a tennis ball up to ceiling height so that it -barely- touches and then catching it again with your arm extended above your head and in slightly front of you, palm facing up and out away from your body. If you are doing this correctly, you should look and feel like you are tossing a serve. In fact, that's exactly why this game is so cool, because once you can begin to correctly gauge the height of the ceiling with the ball, you will be able to adjust that ever so slightly for the different conditions serving on the courts. It's harder than it looks, try it and let us know how it goes! Once you can do it a few times, see if you can do a ceiling tap 5 times in a row, then 10. This is excellent practice for serving so have at it!
Alrighty then, there are 5 games to improve hand eye coordination at home! Please try them all out and let us know how it goes! Sending you all love and virtual high fives!