My son and I read a book about boomerangs last week. Somehow, I just know in my heart that I would NOT have the athletic prowess to successfully throw a real boomerang. But a giant ball up the stairs that flies back at you like you’re the bowling pin? Yep! And Big Ball Boomerang was born!
The Importance of Full Body Exercise
Homeschool bloggers throw out the term ‘gross motor skills’ all the time, but we rarely stop to talk about all of its variations. Gross motor skills involve working on any of the large muscles in the body. It can involve singular skills that involve one area of the body. For example, throwing a baseball mostly works the arm and shoulder muscles. Jumping involves the hips and both legs.
Other gross motor activities involve nearly EVERY major muscle group! Think about a baby first starting to crawl. (I’m reminiscing about that adorable stage where they’re on all fours and just wiggle their butts forward and backwards because they don’t know how to propel themselves quite yet.) Once babies start crawling, they’re working their arms, neck, shoulders, abs, back, hips, and legs—all at once! And for the first time ever learning to coordinate all of those dozens of muscles into one smooth (and someday fast) movement.
Big Ball Boomerang—More Full Body Exercise!
Big Ball Boomerang is another great activity for older kids for integrating EVERY major muscle group at once. Throwing and catching a giant ball requires more than just a child’s arms and shoulders. They have to squat with their legs and hips to brace for catching a ball of that size. They use their abs and back muscles for a more forceful throw. (You have to get it all the way up the stairs for it to come back at you really fast!)
Of course, all types of gross motor exercises are important. Kids should learn how to throw a baseball (working only a few muscle groups), and do activities where they learn to integrate all their muscles at once. Variety is key!