Aim & Throw
Manipulative Skills
Lesson Preview Different ways of throwing an object through the air using the hands are explored to enhance the children's throwing and aiming skills.
Beanbag Throw into Hoops Beanbags Hoops Place Mats
Target Ball Throwing Balls
Moving Target Throw Beanbags Hoops
Toss the Beanbag Game Beanbags Place Mats

Throwing a Ball

Opening Activity
The children explore force and direction as they practice throwing a ball.
Activity Information
  • Skill Focus
    • Manipulative Skills
  • Equipment
    • Balls
  • Group Type
    • Individual
    • Pairs
    • Small Group
    • Large Group
    • Special Needs
  • Activity Type
    • Aiming
    • Throwing
    • Challenge
    • Playground
  • Environment
    • Indoors
    • Outdoors
  • Space Allocation
    • Small Space
    • Large Space
  • Special Needs
    • Able-Bodied
    • Seated / Wheelchair
    • Physically Challenged
  • Physical Benefits
    • Balance
    • Hand-Eye Coordination
    • Manual Dexterity
    • Body Awareness
    • Focus / Attention
  • Key Language
    • Body
    • Arms
    • Head
    • Throw
    • Underhand
    • Overhand
    • Upward

Activity Progressions and Adjustments

Beginners  Practice the underhand and overhand throwing action many times without a ball first. Then attempt the throws with a ball.

Intermediate  Encourage accuracy when throwing the ball.

Advanced  Increase the throwing distance to further challenge children who have had more experience with throwing. Have them aim for a target or throw to a partner.

Special Needs  All special needs children, sitting or standing or physically challenged can learn to throw a ball.

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Instructions

Demonstrate and explain the two different ways to throw a ball.

Emphasise that the focus of this activity is on the correct way to throw a ball and not on how to catch.

Underhand throw: Practice the arm moments several times before actually throwing the ball. The ball is held in front of the body with relaxed arms. Encourage the children to look where they are throwing and to do a slow controlled throw in an upward, forward direction. The hands are situated under and slightly behind the ball. For beginner level this is a safer and slower throw.

Overhand throw: Practice the arm moments several times before actually throwing the ball. The ball must be held above or behind the head with bent arms, the arms move in an upward, forward direction when throwing.  The overhand or overhead throw generates more speed than the underhand throw, which makes catching more challenging. This throw is best used to gain height or distance.

The arm movements determine the force and direction of the throw.

It is important the eyes look where the ball needs to be thrown.

When practicing the throws, the ball can be thrown through a hoop, at a wall or to an adult.

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Safety Precautions

To prevent accidents have the children take their turn only when given the instruction to do so. This will also encourage better focus from the children and more accurate throwing.

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Sensory and Cognitive Benefits

Vestibular-Cerebellum  Stimulation of the neural networks in the cerebellum (balance center in the brain). Balance is required in order to throw the ball effectively.

Proprioception  Activation of muscle and joint receptors responsible for body and spatial awareness. Awareness of arm and body position, direction of throw and distance.

Visual Integration  Eyes communicate with the brain and body to execute the gross motor movements effectively. Needed to accurately and correctly throw the ball forward.

 

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Beanbag Throw into Hoops

Activity One
Beanbags are thrown into hoops placed on the floor at different distances.
Activity Information
  • Skill Focus
    • Manipulative Skills
  • Equipment
    • Beanbags
    • Hoops
    • Place Mats
  • Group Type
    • Individual
    • Small Group
    • Special Needs
  • Activity Type
    • Aiming
    • Throwing
    • Challenge
  • Environment
    • Indoors
    • Outdoors
  • Space Allocation
    • Extra Small Space
    • Small Space
  • Special Needs
    • Able-Bodied
    • Seated / Wheelchair
    • Physically Challenged
  • Physical Benefits
    • Balance
    • Hand-Eye Coordination
    • Sequencing
    • Body Awareness
    • Social Skills
  • Key Language
    • Arm
    • Eyes
    • Beanbag
    • Hoop
    • Throw
    • Aim

Activity Progressions and Adjustments

Beginners  The children can stand approximately half a meter away from the first hoop. Encourage the children to look at the point where they want to throw.

Intermediate  Increase the distance if the targets are easily achieved.

Advanced  The children can throw the beanbag with their non-dominant hand. Increase the throwing distance if targets are easily achieved.

Special Needs  All special needs can successfully achieve this activity. Be sure to place the hoops at an achievable distance.

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Instructions

Each group needs three hoops, three beanbags and a marker.

Divide the children into groups according to the number of hoops you have.

Have three hoops in a row, touching, on the floor in front of each group of children. Have the marker or place mat approximately one meter away from the first hoop.

Have the children stand in lines, one behind the other, in front of each row of hoops.

The first child stands on a marker or place mat holding one of the three beanbags.

Using the underhand throw, a beanbag is thrown into each hoop, starting with the nearest hoop.

Encourage the children to keep their eyes on the hoop they are aiming for and to swing their arm in a relaxed way.

Give an example of the intensity needed for the throws by showing an example of a “too gentle”, a “too hard” and then a “just right” throw.

If you have three different color hoops and the same color beanbags, then the same color beanbag can be thrown into the corresponding hoop.  

When each child has thrown all three beanbags, they can collect them and give them to the next child in line.

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Safety Precautions

Younger children could sit while waiting for their turn to ease restlessness.
Keep some distance between the first and second child so that the throwing arm does not hit the child next in line.

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Sensory and Cognitive Benefits

 Vestibular-Cerebellum  Stimulation of the neural networks in the balance center of the brain. Must maintain balance while transferring the weight when throwing the beanbag

Proprioception  Stimulation of muscle and joint receptors responsible for body and spatial awareness.

Differentiation  Conscious control of moving only the arm for throwing while other limbs remain still.

Visual-Motor Integration  Communication between the eyes, brain, and muscles to measure distance and throw effectively.

Motor Planning and Directionality  Slow down the body to successfully throw the beanbag into each hoop.

Focus and Concentration  Necessary to activate in order to do the activity correctly.

 

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Target Ball Throwing

Activity Two
A ball is thrown at a target on the wall.
Activity Information
  • Skill Focus
    • Manipulative Skills
  • Equipment
    • Balls
  • Group Type
    • Individual
    • Small Group
    • Special Needs
  • Activity Type
    • Aiming
    • Catching
    • Throwing
    • Challenge
  • Environment
    • Indoors
    • Outdoors
  • Space Allocation
    • Extra Small Space
    • Small Space
  • Special Needs
    • Able-Bodied
    • Seated / Wheelchair
    • Physically Challenged
  • Physical Benefits
    • Balance
    • Hand-Eye Coordination
    • Directionality
    • Motor Planning
  • Key Language
    • Ball
    • Target
    • Throw
    • Bounce
    • Catch

Activity Progressions and Adjustments

Beginners  To begin with, have the target at an achievable height and the throwing distance fairly close.

Intermediate  Increase the throwing distance.

Advanced  Vary the height of the target.

Special Needs  All special needs can achieve this activity. The closer a child is to the target, the lower the target needs to be.

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Instructions

In advance prepare some targets that can be placed on the wall approximately two meters high. The targets can be colored sheets of paper or hand-drawn targets.

Show an example of throwing a ball to a target using the underhand throw. Demonstrate a “too soft”, a “too hard” and a correct throw to help the children understand the force needed for the throw.

Divide the children into groups according to how many targets and balls you have. A ball, a marker and a target are needed for each group.

Have the children stand in a line on or by a marker approximately two meters away from the wall and in line with a target.

The children take turns trying to hit the target with the ball using the underhand throw.

The focus is on throwing the ball accurately at the target. However, the ball will bounce back from the wall after hitting the target. Warn the children that this will happen so they are prepared to either catch it or push it away.

Large, bouncy balls are best for this activity.

If you do not have a wall to use for this activity the ball can be thrown through a hoop or any other safe target that can be held high by an adult.

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Safety Precautions

For the overhand throw, be sure the children understand that the ball may bounce back off the wall with speed and they need to be ready to catch it.

Have the children wait for their turn two or three meters away so they do not get hit by the ball when it bounces off the wall.

Be sure there is nothing breakable on the wall where balls are being bounced.

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Sensory and Cognitive Benefits

Vestibular-Cerebellum  Stimulation of the neural networks in the balance centre of the brain.  Enabling a child to balance while aiming and throwing a ball

Proprioception  Stimulation of muscle and joint receptors responsible for body and spatial awareness. Understanding the distance the ball needs to be thrown. Supports the learning of other ball sports.

Visual-Motor Integration  Required to aim and throw accurately and by using the correct amount of force..

Focus and Concentration  Are necessary to activate in order to do the activity correctly.

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Moving Target Throw

Activity Three
A beanbag is thrown through a hoop as it rolls by.
Activity Information
  • Skill Focus
    • Manipulative Skills
  • Equipment
    • Beanbags
    • Hoops
  • Group Type
    • Pairs
    • Small Group
    • Special Needs
  • Activity Type
    • Aiming
    • Body Positions
    • Rolling
    • Throwing
    • Challenge
    • Playground
  • Environment
    • Indoors
    • Outdoors
  • Space Allocation
    • Small Space
    • Large Space
  • Special Needs
    • Able-Bodied
    • Seated / Wheelchair
    • Physically Challenged
  • Physical Benefits
    • Balance
    • Hand-Eye Coordination
    • Directionality
    • Body Awareness
    • Focus / Attention
    • Timing
  • Key Language
    • Leg
    • Hand
    • Beanbag
    • Hoop
    • Throw
    • Roll
    • Hold
    • Forward

Activity Progressions and Adjustments

Beginners  The children can stand approximately half a meter away from the first hoop. Encourage the children to look where they want to throw.

Intermediate  The children can throw the bean bag with their other hand as well.

Advanced  The children can throw the bean bag with their other hand as well as increase the throwing distance.

Special Needs  For wheelchair-bound children, a hoop can be rolled or thrown past them. This activity is possible for all special needs.

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Instructions

The children, each holding a beanbag, stand or sit in a line, one behind the other, three to five meters away from the adult.

The adult who has all the hoops nearby, rolls a hoop, one at a time, past the line of children.

The child with a turn stands on or by a marker with one leg forward and throws a beanbag through the hoop using the opposite hand as it passes in front of them.

If the child holds the beanbag with their right hand they should put their left leg forward. This encourages correct lateral movement (crossing the midline) and helps with balance and more accurate throwing.

If you are the only adult with a group of children it is best to have as many hoops as possible to enable continuous rolling. A wall that stops the hoops will make them easier to collect.

Say the name of each child before rolling the hoop to ensure they are ready for their turn and focused on throwing their beanbag at the right time.

When all the children in the line have had a turn they collect their beanbags and line up for another turn.

This activity can be done outdoors if you have a hard surface for rolling the hoops. A child can always assist with catching the hoops.

If outdoor play is not possible, roll the hoop down a passageway, have your child stand in a doorway and as the hoop comes past them they have to throw the bean bag through it. Quite a fun challenge don’t you think?

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Safety Precautions

When positioning the groups for the activity, keep in mind the space needed for rolling the hoops and the distance the beanbags will cover when thrown through the hoops.

Avoid positioning the children where they may get hit by a rolling hoop or a beanbag.

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Sensory and Cognitive Benefits

Vestibular-Cerebellum  Stimulation of the neural networks in the balance center of the brain. One has to keep balance while waiting and then when throwing the beanbag.

Proprioception  Stimulation of muscle and joint receptors responsible for body and spatial awareness. Understanding how fast the approaching hoop is coming and having the body positioned for action.

Differentiation  Conscious control of moving only one part of the body while other limbs remain still.

Visual-Motor Integration  Communication between the eyes – brain – muscles to measure distance, determine speed and timing and to throw effectively.

Motor Planning and Strategic Thinking  Slowing down the body to think about exactly when to throw the beanbag through the hoop.

Focus and Concentration  Necessary to activate in order to do the activity correctly.

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Toss the Beanbag Game

Activity Four
The children's throwing and aiming skills are challenged as they try to throw their beanbag close to the feet of the adult.
Activity Information
  • Skill Focus
    • Manipulative Skills
  • Equipment
    • Beanbags
    • Place Mats
  • Group Type
    • Individual
    • Small Group
    • Special Needs
  • Activity Type
    • Aiming
    • Throwing
    • Challenge
    • Game
    • Playground
  • Environment
    • Indoors
    • Outdoors
  • Space Allocation
    • Small Space
    • Large Space
  • Special Needs
    • Able-Bodied
    • Seated / Wheelchair
    • Physically Challenged
  • Physical Benefits
    • Balance
    • Hand-Eye Coordination
    • Manual Dexterity
    • Directionality
    • Body Awareness
  • Key Language
    • Feet
    • Beanbag
    • Throw
    • Look
    • Underhand

Activity Progressions and Adjustments

Beginners  Have the children stand fairly close to begin with and let them have several chances, throwing one at a time.

Intermediate  Increase the throwing distance

Advanced  Have the children change places so they learn to throw from different angles. Children at the end of the line need to throw harder for example.

Special Needs  An activity for all special needs children and one that is enjoyable and beneficial in many ways.

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Instructions

Have the children stand next to each other in a line holding a beanbag. If you have a marker have them stand on or next to it. 

The adult stands six to eight meters away from the children in one spot with feet together.

One by one, each child throws their beanbag underhand towards the adult’s feet.

Encourage the children to look at the target when the throw is done and to think about how gently or powerfully they need to throw the beanbag for it to reach the target.

The one who tosses a beanbag closest to the adult’s feet is the winner.

The children can then collect their beanbags and return to their places only after everyone has had a turn. The children will enjoy this activity so repeat as time allows.

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Safety Precautions

Be sure the children understand that they must throw the beanbag underhand.
Only use safe objects for throwing if you need to substitute beanbags for something else.

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Sensory and Cognitive Benefits

Vestibular-Cerebellum  Stimulation of the neural networks in the balance center of the brain. Balance is required to maintain control of the upper body before, while throwing and after releasing the beanbag.

Proprioception  Activation of muscle and joint receptors responsible for body and spatial awareness. Awareness of the swing of the arm, the intensity of the throw, the position of the body.

Differentiation  Full conscious control of moving the arm while the rest of the limbs remain still.

Visual-Motor Integration  Communication between the eyes – brain – muscles to measure distance and velocity effectively.

 

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Throw & Catch a Ball

Closing Activity
Children focus on the skills needed to aim, throw and catch a ball.
Activity Information
  • Skill Focus
    • Manipulative Skills
  • Equipment
    • Balls
  • Group Type
    • Individual
    • Pairs
    • Special Needs
  • Activity Type
    • Aiming
    • Catching
    • Throwing
    • Morning Circle
    • Playground
  • Environment
    • Indoors
    • Outdoors
  • Space Allocation
    • Small Space
    • Large Space
  • Special Needs
    • Able-Bodied
    • Seated / Wheelchair
    • Physically Challenged
  • Physical Benefits
    • Balance
    • Manual Dexterity
    • Body Awareness
    • Gross Motor Skills
  • Key Language
    • Hands
    • Ball
    • Throw
    • Catch
    • Look
    • Underhand
    • Aim

Activity Progressions and Adjustments

Video  Supports all levels

Beginners  Do gentle throws from as close as one and a half meters and increase the distance as confidence and ability improves. Do not try the overhand throw until the underhand throw is mastered.

Intermediate  Increase the distance for both throws as the children become more competent with throwing and catching.

Advanced  Encourage accuracy and speed with the overhand throw. Alternate the throws to practice focus and concentration. 

Special Needs  Throwing and catching can be down in a standing or seated position enabling all special needs to do the activity. Be sure the hands are held correctly when catching and to keep the eyes on the ball at all times.

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Instructions

Have the children stand next to each other in a line with half a meter of space between them.

Underhand throw:

Throw the ball using the underhand throw to each child. The child must catch the ball with two hands and then throw it back to the adult in the same way.

When throwing the child must look and aim the ball at the tummy area of the person who will catch the ball.

When catching the arms must be held in the correct catching position with elbows close to the tummy area, hands apart and eyes looking at the oncoming ball.

Overhand or overhead throw:

Throw the ball using the overhand throw to each child. The child must catch the ball with two hands and then throw it  back to the adult in the same way.

When throwing the child must look and aim the ball to the head area. 

When catching the arms must be held head height in front of the head area with the hands apart ready to catch the oncoming ball which will come quite quickly towards the hands if thrown correctly. 

Tips:

Say each child’s name to be ensure they are focused and ready to catch the ball.

Be sure the children stand with feet apart for the underhand throw to aid balance. For the overhand throw one leg can be forward to aid the force and direction of the throw.

If a child misses the catch more than twice move on to the next child.  Be sure to correct as well as encourage those who struggle.

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Safety Precautions

Be sure the children keep a safe distance away from each other for this activity. Having them stand on markers will help them keep their places.

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Sensory and Cognitive Benefits

Vestibular-Cerebellum  Stimulation of the neural networks in the cerebellum (balance center in the brain). Having to balance while propelling an object through the air.

Proprioception  Stimulation of muscle and joint receptors responsible for body and spatial awareness. Learning force, distance and timing helps a child learn how hard to push a door or the speed needed to react when something is falling.

Motor Planning and Directionality  Slowing down the body to think about how to catch and return the ball.

Visual-Motor Integration  Required to catch, aim and throw the ball accurately.

Focus and Concentration  Necessary to activate in order to do the activity correctly.

Social Skills  Cooperation and turn-taking are put into practice.

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