Balls in the Circle (Toddler Bocce Ball)

Grace and I are home for the summer, and I am feeling a lot better these days.

We have a good bit of time on our hands, and you already know what happens when Grace gets bored.

I force coerce allow her to play by herself a bit each day, but we spend a lot of time doing fun things together.

Like hammering golf tees into styrofoam, a brilliant (and messy!) idea I saw at No Time for Flashcards.

I came up with a fun little game, and Grace’s reaction was terrific. She’s asked to play the Ball Circle game every day since.

Here’s what we did:

Balls in the Circle


  • A lot of balls in different shapes, sizes, and textures – we keep a basket of balls, and in it are plastic balls, foam balls, O-balls, footballs, whiffle balls, bouncy balls, tennis balls, golf balls, cloth balls, and about fifteen other miscellaneous balls. The key is that they are all very different.
  • A hula hoop

What to Do

  1. Set the hula hoop on the floor and sit down with your basket of balls a few feet away.
  2. Toss each ball, attempting to make it land – and stay! – inside the hula hoop. Talk to your child about why the balls bounce out or why they roll away. Clap for her when a ball stays inside the hoop.
  3. Help your child to pick up the balls so that you can toss them a second time.p6100659
  4. When aforementioned child parks in the hula hoop, give up and pile all of the balls inside with her. She’ll enjoy exploring their differences.

The only way I can get her to look at the camera is to place it in front of Linny, Tuck, and MingMing, hence the disgusted face.

*Added May 2013 – Now that I know what Bocce Ball is, this was like our toddler version. Grace is now almost 6, and she likes to play real bocce ball. The balls are a bit heavy for Allie, though, so she still plays this way with random balls of different sizes and shapes.

© 2009 – 2013, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.



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