One really fun thing about being a mom is making up silly songs and games with my sons. I've been singing to both since they were babies and one of these days, I'm going to record all the songs for posterity and in case I'm blessed with grandkids in my old age and I've forgotten the lyrics.
We also enjoy playing made up games and helping to foster the boys' imaginative play. I've found that "therapy" is much more fun when it isn't a chore to be checked off but instead a fun game where multiple people have contributed to the rules.
We are currently working on helping Ryan with the ability to throw, catch and kick a ball and practice skills that he would use during recess time. Not only does this help him physically with his motor skills but we think it will help him socially too once he enters Kindergarten and has more chances to interact outside during recess and lunchtime with his peers.
The game that Ryan and I came up with is called Goofball. Since Ryan is funny, charming and can be very silly and goofy at times, Goofball was a perfect name for our game. We also wanted to carry on the Krejcha family tradition of funny "ball" sounding games. His previous favorite game and still a family favorite is "Eyeball". He even recruited a babysitter to play the game with him one night...
So... I bet you're waiting for me to share what on earth Goofball entails? I'm glad you asked! Goofball is a goofy game where the adult (in this case Mom aka yours truly) takes her place by sitting on one of those big medicine balls next to a little wading pool without water that is filled with dozens of balls of varying sizes, shapes and textures.
I'm not in this kind of shape yet but who knows... after another 1000 rounds of Goofball this week, I may be well on my way!
Ryan is then about 8 feet away and is either sitting in a soft recliner chair or he is standing. (This game is played in our playroom / therapy room aka what would be a family room in most homes.) We could play this game outside but as it has been raining in beautiful Vancouver off/on most days since the beginning of the year, we have chosen at this point to make it an indoor game.
The game starts by me picking up a ball from the pool, calling out the type of ball and the color (i.e. soft blue ball or yellow SpongeBob football or Ryan's absolute favorite, Cornball) and then throwing the ball to him while I stay seated on the medicine ball.
Cornball, straight from Wisconsin, a favorite gift from Dad. (What's next, Cheeseball?)
Ryan's job is to try and catch the ball and then throw it back to me. If he can do so without the ball landing out of my reach, then we get a point and keep the process going with the same ball as long as we can. He keeps track of the points through counting. We get negative points if we miss, positive points if we score and if additional members join in as guests from other parts of the room, their score starts at zero but ours is cumulative. That was Ryan's rule, not mine!
If the ball goes astray and I can't reach it from where I'm sitting, then I pull another ball out of the pool and we try again. We either play to one of Ryan's favorite numbers (54, 154 and 200 are all good markers) or until Mom tires out.
The kinds of balls we have include soft squishy balls, footballs, kickballs, hacky sack balls (did I date myself?), cornball and the round, plastic balls you jump and crash into if you're a kid playing in one of those big inflatable pool things. (I think there is a name for it but it escapes me now.)
It's really great therapy because Ryan gets to throw and catch balls of different texture, shape and size, he gets to practice addition and subtraction and he hears me call out colors and names. He has to focus on throwing to me to get a point and he gets to make up funny rules like if a ball accidentally hits him in the cheek, he gets to throw that ball backwards.
Today we played the game twice. Ryan and I played before dinner and then the whole family joined in after dinner. It's a little more difficult with 4 but I love having Justin and John there too and it's fun playing around with rules and trying out new things like keeping multiple balls going at the same time.
As we have a lot of hard balls (i.e. bowling, baseball) around, we try to remove those so no-one gets too excited and launches one of those. Somehow a racquetball made it into tonight's game and met my nose. The racquetball was subsequently disqualified and hidden from all future Goofball games. Who knows, if the game catches on and there are tournaments around the world, we might reconsider bringing the racquetball back for advanced levels of play.
Now that you know the basics of Goofball, your life may not be complete but I certainly hope it has been enriched! If you see the game catch on like Angry Birds or something of the sort, remember folks that you saw it here at Aspierations first and it was the creative inspiration of a 4 year old boy! (Almost 5, Mom... sheesh!)
I'll be back again tomorrow!
Thanks for stopping by!