#15 Black Lives Matter!

Dear Parents and Carers

We hope that you are well. Following up from last week’s message regarding Black Lives Matter, as well as the weekly challenge, please find some further resources attached:


The ‘black virtual library’ has a wide collection of children’s books specifically discussing race and racism. If you open the pdf, zoom in on any of the books and click, and it will take you to a youtube clip of the story/books being read. The second attachment is a parent guide for thinking through how to talk to your children about the Black Lives Matter movement and racism in the UK.


Weekly Challenge #15: Ball  games – can you make up your own ball game?

BALLS ARE WONDERFUL because children can use them in so many ways - ways that change as youngsters master new skills and learn new concepts.

Infants and Toddlers: At this age, ball play helps children develop grasping skills, eye-hand coordination, tracking, finger muscles, and the ability to move objects from one hand to another. Cognitively, infants and toddlers learn about the properties of balls: They bounce, roll down hills, are easy to move and difficult to keep still. As youngsters play with balls, they begin to get the feel of repetitive rhythms - bouncing, grasping, and squeezing. Just remember that balls for infants and toddlers must be large enough to pass a choke-tube test.

Pre-schoolers: Ball play at this age can help children master individual gross-motor skills, such as kicking, throwing, catching, aiming, rolling, bouncing, and tracking. Social skills, too, come into play as children participate in simple games - rolling, throwing, and kicking balls to one another. Though preschool children are often beginning to learn the games of their cultures, this is not a time for activities that require many rules or emphasize winning and losing.

Ball play can provide developmental and fundamental benefits for children, such as: 

Social Skills: A ball can be played by one person, but a whole lot of fun with at least two. Playing catch, for example, can involve two people learning to communicate with each other. Social skills are a great way to open lines of communication and for kids to learn from one another.

Critical Thinking Skills: A ball can be played in so many ways, including games like basketball, football, rounders and more! When children play games, they learn to expand their cognitive and critical thinking skills by finding strategic ways to win. Most children can be quite competitive and the best way for them to win is to be tap into their creative side.

Fine Motor Skills: The development of fine motor skills can help a child become comfortable with the use of his or her muscles. When a ball is involved, a child can exercise these fine motor skills by using strength and muscles to throw, catch or move the ball in any way.

Fine motor skills are useful in some of the most important tasks in life, such as writing. The more connected an individual is to the muscles that control all our necessary movements, the better that person will be at playing games and other very important activities of life.

Hand-Eye Coordination : Hand-eye coordination is beneficial in so many aspects of life, including daily activities, such as getting dressed, eating, handwriting, reading and more. The practice of catching a throwing a ball can help improve our hand-eye coordination.

Sportspersonship and Emotional Skills: Ball play can encourage competitive behaviour, especially with little ones. However, with the right guidance, it can also be a way to encourage children to have control of their emotions as they learn the value of positive sportsmanship.


Activities you can try at home.


Infants and toddlers

  • Encourage a toddler to play with and practice rolling a large, lightweight ball. Then place a large cardboard box on its side, with the opening toward the child. Starting with the box very close, challenge the toddler to roll the ball so it goes into the box. Then help him move farther and farther away as he begins to master this activity.
  • Use an indoor or outdoor toddler-size slide and position one child at the top and another child (or adult!) at the bottom. Ask the child at the top to roll a large, lightweight ball down      the slide to her partner, who catches it, walks around the slide and returns the ball, and goes back to catch it again. After a while, children can change places. To make the game more difficult, ask the child at the bottom to move farther away.


  • Collect clean cans or plastic bottles and label each with a different bright colour. Help children stack the cans and then roll, throw, or kick a fairly large ball at them. Have a pen and paper handy and allow children to take a lead on noting how many they have knocked down each go (they may come up with unexpected ways of writing this!)

Find more activity ideas in the websites below.



Many thanks, Clapton Park Children's Centre