Whether your child is climbing a tree, rolling in the mud, painting a picture, or singing at the top of their voice… chances are, they are also developing some critical life skills. And summertime is when that happens every single day.
In the spirit of summertime silliness, let’s take a look at one of the most fun, inspiring, and healthful play activities you’ll ever find...
“Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth,” says a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Make Your Own Juggling Balls...
What you need: one bag of uninflated balloons, a bag of unpopped popcorn kernels, a small funnel, and a pair of scissors.
Juggling has even been found to boost brain health. In fact, some schools teach juggling as a way to boost academic learning.
“Juggling improves concentration, coordination, and promotes stress relief,” says the New York Times. It uses cross lateral movement, which “stimulates brain function and learning…” says an article in Healthy Living Arizona.
1. Making juggling balls is a fun craft in its own right. Even better - it’s super duper easy!
2. Using your funnel, fill one deflated balloon halfway to the top with ½ cup of popcorn kernels. You may have to hold the top of the balloon open while your child pours in the kernels.
3. Now, tie off that balloon so that it looks like a nice round ball. You can cut off the extra part once it’s tied.
4. Next, cut three balloons so that they no longer have their “necks”.
5. Stretch one balloon over the popcorn-filled balloon. It should go almost all the way around the ball.
6. Now, stretch the next balloon over the popcorn-filled balloon. Again, it won’t close, and there will be a circle of color from the previous balloon peaking through.
7. Stretch one more balloon over the popcorn-filled balloon. And tada! You’ve made your first juggling ball!
8. Repeat the process for as many juggling balls as you like.
Now that you’ve created your amazing juggling balls, you’re ready to get started!
Looking for some great lessons where you can learn to use your juggling balls? Check out this awesome juggling tutorial.
Remember, Dropping is for Winners!
When you start learning to juggle, every drop is an opportunity to start again - a chance to improve. You can’t be a great juggler without doing a whole lot of dropping… it’s actually just like real life!
Most importantly, remember to get silly and have fun. The best kinds of summer is where everyone is laughing together.