Here’s a fun throwing, catching, and striking game to try with your kids.
Submitted by Bob DeFichy from Patchogue, New York. K-5
Background: Each year we use homemade “ghosts” or foxtails for a variety of manipulative skills (catch, throw, strike) with our students.
How To Make a “Ghost” – Making a “ghost” is simple! Use old sheets or tee shirts and cut them into 12″ x 12″ squares. Place a tennis ball in the middle. Wrap the sheet around the ball and secure the ball with a rubber band or duct tape. You can draw a face on the ghost and write a number on the back of the head. Different color tee shirts can be used as well as tie-dyeing the sheets beforehand. Also, different size balls or beanbags can be used.
State Standards: This activity can be used in a wide variety of State Standards where your students demonstrate manipulative skills (throwing, catching, striking) with non-locomotor and locomotor skills. Students will apply the concepts and principles of movement to develop and refine these skills (catching objects while moving, throwing objects to a moving partner).
Lesson Examples: For all of the ghost activities, we generally play Halloween music to enhance the atmosphere. Here are some examples of the ways the ghosts are used in our program:
Set-Up: Students should each have their own ghost and spread out in their personal space around the gym. While performing the skills, the students should be reminded to stay close to their space. Stress safety at all times. Encourage students to look where they are moving. This forces them to take their eyes off the ghost, recover, focus, and catch the ghost as needed.
Balancing Challenges: Can you…
Put ghost on top of your head, arms out to the side…?
On top of head and lift one foot (eyes open, eyes closed)…?
On top of head and drop in front of you and catch…?
On top of head and drop behind you and catch…?
On top of head and turn around…?
On top of head and walk (forward, backward)…?
On the back of your hand…?
On your elbow…?
On the back of your neck…?
On your shoulder…?
On your knee…?
On one foot…?
On one foot raised in air…?
On one foot and toss it up to your hands…?
Between two feet and quickly lift it up to you hands…?
Toss and Catch Challenges: Can you…
Toss with left hand by the tail, catch in right hand by the head…?
Toss with left hand by the tail, catch in right hand by the tail…?
Toss with left hand by the head, catch in right hand by the tail…?
Toss with left hand by the head, catch in right hand by the head…?
Toss with right hand by the tail, catch in right hand by the head…?
Toss with right hand by the tail, catch in right hand by the tail…?
Toss from two hands and catch in one hand…?
Toss from one hand and catch in two hands…?
Toss from one hand and catch in one hand…?
Toss, clap and catch…?
Toss, turn around and catch…?
Toss catch between legs…?
Toss, make basket with arms and have ghost go through basket…?
Toss, catch above head…?
Toss, catch close to the floor…?
Partner Challenges: Can you…
Find a partner and toss back and forth on the teacher’s command?
Throw underhand? Throw overhand?
Catch with two hands? Catch with one hand?
Hold both ghosts in each hand and toss them to your partner?
Toss, while your partner claps and catches?
Toss, while your partner turns around and catches?
Toss, while your partner catches it between his legs?
Toss, make basket with arms and have ghost go through basket?
Toss, while your partner catches it above his head?
Toss, while your partner catches it close to the floor?
Toss, while your partner drops to his knees and catches it?
Toss, while your partner sits and catches it?
(1) Allow the students to design their own partner challenges and share them with the class.
(2) Use different color fabric when making the ghosts.
(3) Draw happy and sad faces on the ghosts.
(4) Use different size balls for the head of the ghost. Tennis balls work great for tossing and catching, while gatorskin balls can be used for modified games such as “Ghost Volleyball,” “Ghost Soccer,” or “Ghost Softball.”
Student Certificate: Please feel free to use the motivational student certificate found on the following page with your students. It’s an example of one that we use!