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New Code Ball Games for Kids
Posted: 01 July 2010 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]
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A few months ago I was at a family dinner party, well extended family actually.  I was at the home of my ex-sister in law Judy (not real names) and her new husband Dave.  They have a daughter Evelyn approx. nine years old. 

Judy was telling me how Dave found it frustrating when he helped Evelyn with her homework and the exchange between Dad and daughter would often result in an argument and sometimes tears.

I asked Judy whether I could play a game with Evelyn and demonstrate how the game can help (I was thinking of the New Code Croydon ball game).  Mom Judy said “sure”.

Evelyn was an eager player and her and I played for a few minutes and then I started to ‘chat’ with her about certain aspects of doing homework, where does she do her homework ie. what part of the house, on a table? the floor?,  does she listen to music while doing homework or any other sounds, tv, etc, I couldn’t come up with a question for the visual as I already know what her Dad looks like so we just played the game a few more minutes and ended it on a high note.

I’ll be seeing the family today (it’s Canada Day and we’re having a party!) and I’m going to ask how the homework has been going.  If I calibrate that doing homework is still frustrating, then I’d like to try another game.  ie. Alphabet or ??  Although being that I am hosting the party that might not be easy to do as I may be busy with ‘host’ duties. 

Can any group members suggest another game using tennis balls? 
NB. Evelyn might be the only child here so the game needs to be suitable for her to play with adults.  Any suggestions??

Cheers,
Jacquie

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Posted: 02 July 2010 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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LivingMetta - 01 July 2010 01:56 PM

Judy was telling me how Dave found it frustrating when he helped Evelyn with her homework and the exchange between Dad and daughter would often result in an argument and sometimes tears.

Hi Jacquie I’m not sure about games for kids - hacky sacks maybe? Do you mind if I ask why you did the game with Evelyn and not dave? Just looking to learn if there was a specific intention behind that rather than working with Dave instead. Cheers

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Posted: 04 July 2010 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi Jacquie

I agree with Alistair, what if Dave is the leverage point in the system.

You Dave is Judy’s new husband, yet Evelyn is 9 years old. Is this a new ‘father - daughter’ relationship?

I find the ball games om trampolines very good to play with kids

Best wishes

Michael

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Posted: 05 July 2010 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hi all,

Thank you all for the insights and suggestions.

Re-reading my post, I see how more detail and clarity would have helped! 

Michael - to clarify - I wrote ‘new’ (by new I was referring to Judy’s most current marriage.  So ‘second husband’ would have been more accurate a description.smile
Judy and Dave have been married approx. 9-10 years and are both biological parents to Evelyn.

In an attempt to recall that evening (10 months ago) I remember that it hadn’t occurred to me work with the dad, it just felt right to work with Evelyn.  Perhaps knowing the mom 28 years and the dad 10 years and watching them parent in other contexts, I’ve noticed they generally are extremelly patient, loving and attentive, have clear rules and are consistent.  So I might have sensed this to be a ‘one off’ where Evelyn simply didn’t like the subject (If I remember right it was math). 

As it turned out on July 1st, my invitation to play a formal game was not accepted as Evelyn was more interested in playing with a lively 2 year old for most of the afternoon. 

Michael, I like your idea of ball games on the trampoline.  The next time Evelyn is over, I’ll initiate a ball game with both Evelyn and her dad in the swimming pool (for scalibility a ‘jump up’ in between ball tosses, tossing while tredding water, a hand clap above the head while tredding water, etc.).  Neil P. suggested adding in mathematical challenges (like in NASA).  Stay tuned for a future posting with the results.

Cheers,
Jacquie

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Posted: 17 July 2010 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hello - good Saturday morning here in Canada,

I have a brief report back re: the results of playing ball games with Evelyn.  Yesterday Evelyn was over with her mom, dad and one of Evelyn’s best friends, a girl 9 yrs old (I’ll call her Jill).  I initiated a Croydon ball game (not in water - on land) with the two girls (Evelyn and Jill).  The girls had difficulty getting a good rhythm*.  With some more practice the girls did get rhythm and I decided to add the left/right catch option which went ok for Evelyn, not so well for Jill who kept catching the ball with the opposite hand to the hand called out.  I gave Jill a suggestion to help her associate right to right, left to left (we applied a tonal anchor - she snapped her fingers slightly louder on the right hand - so I added ‘that’s right!!’ when she snapped her fingers on the right hand) and she became more skilled the more times she caught the ball. We then added a clap of the hands after the toss.  That went well for a dozen or so tosses.  We then added ‘simple’ math questions and that’s when we lost rhythm.  What happened was the person tossing the ball, calling right/left had to also think of a math question and the pause (sometimes up to 3-4 seconds) was enough to break the rhythm and the state.  Suggestions to not ‘think’ of the answer (my mind read that they were thinking the math equation through to the result), and suggestions to use numbers <10 didn’t resolve the lack of rhythm so I scaled the game back to get the rhythm back (so as to leave the game in a ‘good state’) and we decided to stop to go eat lunch. smile

Later, the girls went on their own and tossed the ball without anyone prompting them to.  I didn’t witness them adding in any of the conditions as I was busy being host to Evelyn’s mom and dad.  However, I will ask Evelyn when I see her to find out if they did and how it went.

The girls also began to play a ball game of their own where sitting on the floor they rolled the ball back and forth and used their crossed legs as a ‘goal post’.  I’m going to initiate this game when I see Evelyn and add the right/left, hand clap and math questions and see what happens.  Will report back the results.  Could be a way of scaling down the ball toss/catch skill while maintaining the left/right hemisphere / physiological requirement and adding in the math questions.  I am curious as to how this will go!  Stay tuned…..

*As we were three playing, we played a bit different in that we all acted as coaches/players (this could have impacted the rhythm challenges.  I’ll play the game with one coach/one player and report back).

Cheers,
Jacquie

[ Edited: 17 July 2010 06:06 PM by Jacquie Nagy ]
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