By Sharon Krull
It’s colorful, it’s fun and it’s new from Discount School Supply®! This ocean-themed beanbag toss is perfect for summer activities and ties in swimmingly with the just released Pixar movie, “Finding Dory.” There is definitely high interest in what’s under the sea and especially the animals that live there. On one side of this vinyl-covered tossing wedge board you will find 4 playful sea animal targets—an octopus, a turtle, a crab and a dolphin—designed around large holes lined with mesh netting. The other side features the numbers 1, 2, and 3 next to jumbo mesh netted holes. Two red, yellow, green and blue beanbags are included and match the tossing targets.
The tossing wedge has large holes, making throwing and tossing quite achievable for even the youngest child. When introducing new equipment to children, please allow time for free exploration and practice. Give children opportunities to throw from a variety of distances and to throw in different ways—thus enabling them to experiment and find the best position offering challenge as well as experience success. Encourage children to first toss the beanbag (slow or mid-paced looping throw using just fingers and hand) leading up to eventually throwing the beanbag (more forceful using arms and shoulders to propel the object). Remember that learning a new skill is a process and each skill has its own developmental progression.
Challenge the children to throw the colored beanbags into the matching color holes, whether it's the numbers, 1 (green), 2 (yellow), or 3 (red) or the 4 sea animals on the other side. Turtle=green, Octopus=red, Dolphin=blue, and Crab=yellow.
Feed the Sea Animals
Encourage the children to pretend the beanbags are “food” for the sea creatures. Ask, “What might they eat?” Have them verbalize the “food” they are feeding the turtle, octopus, dolphin, and crab. This activity not only expands the creativity and imagination but also children’s language skills.
Add the Numbers
Children’s beginning math skills will be supported with this game. With the number side up, have children toss any 2 beanbags into a hole or holes. The child would then add up the numbers, i.e., one beanbag is the #1 hole and another beanbag landed in the #2 hole, thus making the total #3 (1+2=3). The game continues with each child taking a turn to toss 2 beanbags and stating the sum. Further challenge the children by having them toss 3 or more beanbags and add the numbers
Move Like the Sea Animals
Welcome children’s own ideas of how to move like one of the sea animals pictured, but here are some suggestions to get you started. You can make a game of this by asking children to throw a beanbag and whatever hole it lands in determines the animal they have to move like. Further challenge the children by having them balance a beanbag on a body part while they move.
Crab Walk: Sit on floor with hands behind and lift up bottom. The trunk of the body looks like a table with hands and feet holding up the body (table). With feet or head leading, move like a crab.
Octopus Wiggles: Start in the seated position on the floor. Attempt to lift both legs off the ground at the same time while wiggling legs and arms.
Turtle Crawl: Starting in a kneeling position, curl back over and put elbows on the ground. Keeping bottom on heels, and elbows and hands on the ground, pull body forward in a slow motion.
Dolphin Swim: Lying on stomach, with arms stretched in front and fingertips touching, rock back and forth on hips.
Teaching Suggestions/Product Recommendations
• Use hoops on the floor to designate where children are to stand (HOOPLA)
• To increase interest choose other items for the child to toss into the holes, such as:
Excellerations® 1-10 Number Beanbags - Set of 20 (NUMTOSS)
Excellerations® Yummy Plush Play Food - 25 Pieces (YUMMY)
Lightweight Plastic Balls - Set of 6 (LITEBALL)
Did I tell you that the vinyl-covered tossing wedge board folds flat for easy storage?
Give us your comments and suggested activities for Excellerations® One, Two, Three Toss!