Here is a fun and simple gross motor activity to work on visual tracking, ball skills and proprioception motor skills.
What are proprioception motor skills? “The term proprioception is used to describe the sensory information that contributes to the sense of position of self and movement. Sir Charles Bell named the “sixth sense” as the sense of the positions and actions of the limbs (McCloskey 1978). Sherrington (1906) first used the term proprioception to define the sense of body position. Body position is perceived both at the conscious and unconscious levels. The information of conscious proprioception is utilized to facilitate complex motor activity, while unconscious proprioception is important to coordinate basic posturing during sitting, standing and simple gait activities. Defects in the conscious proprioception system manifest as stumbling, although gait and posture may be normal. Defects anywhere along the unconscious proprioceptive pathways may be manifest as postural deficits or ataxia.” (International Encyclopedia of Rehabilitation)
Target skills: Materials:
- Visual Tracking * Balls of various sizes
- Upper Body Strength * Rope or some place to hang the ball
- Proprioceptive Development * Panty hose, net or spandex
- Ball Skills * Various bats and paddles
Put the balls in pantyhose, a net or tie in a length of spandex material. Hang the ball from the rope and hit with the bat, paddles, etc.
This gross motor activity turned out to be a real winner at our house. My son had been very reluctant to play t-ball. He kept saying that sports just weren’t his thing and getting him to go to practice was a painful affair. The idea for this game came up when I was talking about his visual tracking with a friend. After bouncing ideas off of each other we came up with this gross motor activity that incorporates visual tracking skills. I did not realize then that it would have the added benefit of building his confidence and thus, his enjoyment, when playing ball games.