Monday, April 19, 2010

School Day: Play Ball

Kal-El has been making a lot of suggestions lately regarding what he would like to learn about in school. His suggestions usually take the form of a sentence like this one: "Mommy, we need to do school in the morning because I need to learn about baseball." One day it was "Mommy, you need to make me some school-things to teach me about 'hoes' [the garden tool]."

He will be playing T-ball once a week this summer. We've already been working on teaching him some basic skills and what to expect. This is important because there are no practices, just games.

Last night I made a baseball field out of fun foam. I did not glue it together, I left the pieces loose and printed a photo of the assembled project so that he could put it together like a layered puzzle of sorts. I thought it might help him understand the parts of the field if he built it himself...adding the bases, foul lines, pitcher's mound, etc.,

I also provided some little men (I scanned my collection of potential "math counters" and snagged some plastic cowboys and indians from the dollar store) in two colors to help with the idea that there would be two teams wearing different colored t-shirts. I started him with just one man at first, the batter, and showed him how the batter would start at home plate and then run the bases. Then, I showed him how one team (red in this photo) waits in line to bat while the other team guards the bases and the outfield. He took this all apart, rebuilt it, and worked with the players for a while.

I also made him a set of three-part cards about baseball. I used this template for the cards and found images on Google.

Examples of terms I used include: field, foul line, mitt, baseball, bat, base, home plate, glove, tee, pitcher's mound, batter, referee, catcher, fielder, and pitcher.

I would post the file, but I doubt that is a fair use of the images.

Me Too worked primarily with his latches board...

...and then with his beginner's pattern blocks.

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  1. Yea@!!! Baseball!! love your school day!! and baseball too!!

  2. Fabulous ideas! Short Pants is getting ready to start t-ball too and would love 3-part cards. :)

    Oh - are you sure there are *no* practices? Around here if you play through the Y they do the practices right before the games for the little guys - just thought I'd mention it as seasoned t-ball mama. ;) I'm sure he'll have a great time either way.

  3. That's cool. I love that it's an interest-led but Montessori-style activity.

  4. Does your 2yo get bored with that pattern blocks? I have that exact same set and my 20-month-old was very interested in it initially but seems to no longer find challenge in it and interest has thus died down. I did so want to get that latches board, but here it's so expensive(!),.

  5. Karmeleon,

    My kids rarely get bored with anything...they'll play happily with the same old stuff for ages. I'm lucky that way. These kept him busy for over an hour, and yes, he's almost three. Every kid is different, yours may be more advanced at puzzle-type things than mine and need more of a challenge.

    That said, these have been on his shelves for a very long time and he hadn't chosen them in a couple of months. We have the next level of these, but Kal-El had trouble with them because the pieces slide off of the pictures. I have them on my list to take out again. When I do, they'll be for "both" kids and I'll let you know how it goes.

  6. Yours should be much more dextrous than my 20month-old then. ;-) But I don't find the pieces sliding off. We have more problem with flat puzzles and especially if the pieces have notches - he can't handle those yet.

  7. We are a baseball/softball family and this is perfect. Thank you for sharing!