Balloon Tennis

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Skill: Strike

30 minutes

Requirements

  • Open space, preferably indoor
  • Balloons (round type)
  • Piece of string or ribbon 3-5 metres
  • Scotch tape or masking tape
  • Paper plates
  • Paint stir sticks
  • Duct tape

Instructions

  1. Blow up a balloon of the “round” type.
  2. Inflate to medium or medium-low pressure, so the balloon “floats” a little bit but not too much.
  3. Create simple “tennis racquets” by taping a paint stir stick to the back of each paper plate.
  4. Hang the string or ribbon horizontally about one metre above the floor between two chairs, or between bookshelves or countertops. This is your “net”.
  5. Using your racquets, hit the balloon back and forth across the net with your child or children.
  6. If someone allows the balloon to touch the floor on their side, the person on the other side of the net scores a point.
  7. Play first person to 5 points, and then start again.
  8. Your racquets are not allowed to cross over the top of the net.
  9. You are allowed to touch the balloon more than once on your side if necessary.

Variations

  • If you have more than one child, or more than one adult, try playing a fun family tournament where family members take turns playing each other

Benefits

This activity develops hand-eye coordination and timing while using a simple racquet (i.e., striking tool). These skills also transfer to striking with a bat or stick.

Suggested Age5-12 years