Ancient marble carvings, paintings, and pottery show images of people playing sports with balls, so we know that such games have been around for thousands of years in places like Egypt, Greece, and Italy. There is evidence, too, that some of the first balls were made of leather pieces that were first stuffed with wool and then sewn together. In pioneer times in the United States, kids used scraps of cloth, or whatever they could find, and wound the material to make balls. You can reuse common items to make the toy, too.
|Save lots of rubber bands, and simply
wrap or wind one band over the next to make the ball. Of course, the more bands
you add the bigger the toy.
Tear or cut an old, bed sheet or other fabric into thin strips, and wind them into a ball shape.
Wrap scraps of yarn into a ball. Tuck in the end piece to finish.
Visit a bicycle repair shop, and ask the owner for an old, inner tube. Have an adult use a utility knife to cut the rubber into thin strips. As before, wrap the strips around each other to make a ball, and tuck in the end to finish.
Begin by wrapping the material around a small rock or ball of aluminum foil. This will make it easier to start the ball, and it will give the finished object some weight.
It's fun to play catch with a ball, but you can make it a little more challenging by making a scoop ball game.
Run some water in the bottles, shake to clean, and pour out the water. Have an adult use the utility knife to cut away the bottom and side of the jug just below the handle, making a scoop. Decorate with paint markers. Using one of the methods previously suggested, make a ball that's at least four inches in diameter.
Now you're ready to play scoop ball! Hold the scoop by the handle, and place the ball inside. Throw the ball underhanded to your partner. See how far apart you can stand and catch it without missing. Another way to play with the toy is to have a contest to see who can throw the ball the farthest. Place the ball in the scoop and throw it overhanded. Try creating your own games using the scoops and ball.
Substitute plastic milk jugs for the bleach bottles, and don't forget to recycle the leftover plastic that was cut away to make the scoops.
Visit this section of
Play to learn many ways people all over the
world use balls to play games.
© 2008 Marilyn J. Brackney
Volume 16 No. 2
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