Last wednesday at St. Mary's was another fun time with the kids, even though I didn't get to play that much. In the beginning however I did help out a group during their gym time, and helped the kids with this activity. Their game was a modified version of handball, making the kids use big and small sized balls while throwing them up against the wall. There was four taped boxes on the wall, and four lines of kids standing behind each other. At first they were using a tennis ball, which the kids were throwing pretty hard, but not too accurate. The object of the game was to throw the ball in the box and go to the back of the line and let the next person catch it. With these small balls, the kids had a hard time catching it when it was coming off the wall, causing a lot of commotion between the lines. When they started using the bigger, rubber balls it appeared that they couldn't use just one hand, and had to use both to hit the wall. With the bigger balls, it was easier for the kids to catch it, and they threw it more accuratley. After this game was over, they switched to another game which was good for the kids throwing skills, to see how accurate they could be.
The object was to use the balls given to hit the target in the middle of the line, and have the person on the other side to catch it and do the same. While I was working with one girl, she was a righty, but threw with her right foot forward, making it awkward to throw. I showed her to put her left foot forward, stand sideways and try and follow through. The girl showed a big improvement after learning which foot to put forward, and ended up hitting the middle object around 10-15 times. This activity was a good way to see how kids throw when they are younger, especially when they have never been taught before. After all the activities were over, it was time for my part of the lab, which was the pe equipment room. We started out in the gym, counting every piece of equipment in each bag, crate, or closet, and marked it down on a sheet of paper. After counting just the items in the gym, not including all the other closets full of stuff, it's obvious that St. Mary's is fully equipped with a variety of toys, games and balls for all types of kids. During our wrap up time with the kids, their was only a few of them, so we had to adjust. Our radio unfortunatley was not playing loud, so everyone had to stay on one side of the gym. Our song for the day was the chicken dance, which mostly all the kids knew how to do, and all the SUNY Cortland students definitley knew how to do it. Overall, the closing song was slow to get started, but once it got going, everyone was having a really good time dancing to the chicken dance.