Is your home your personal “Field of Dreams?” What do you do with your little tykes to make them sports enthusiasts? Engaging your children with the simple fundamentals in baseball--your home team, the players, the songs, equipment, and easy game rules--will give them insight about the sport and hopefully they will turn into junior Little Leaguers in the near future. Why not start with a few fun baseball activities now?
1. Baseball Toss
Start warming up your child’s arm with a little baseball pitching fun. Take an old vinyl shower curtain and cut out four diamond shapes (the bases) and one square in the middle for the pitcher’s mound. Mark them as first base, second base and so on. Hang this over a clothesline or string a rope from tree to tree in your backyard. Invite your preschooler to practice his throwing arm using a plastic baseball, beanbags or any soft ball. Stay away from real baseballs at this age. Who knows in which direction the ball may be tossed and you aren't ready for a “strawberry” bruise at the moment!
2. Lacing Equipment
Every baseball player needs a glove and ball, so make some paper replicas to lace. Cut out a mitt and ball from poster board. Punch holes around the edges of the brown paper glove and invite your youngster to lace it with yellow yarn. Next, cut a circle from a white poster and punch holes in two vertical rows in the center of the ball. Lace this ball with red yarn to look like an authentic baseball. This activity will teach kids about baseball equipment while strengthening their finger dexterity.
3. Design Baseball Hats
Sure, anyone can go out and buy an authentic baseball hat, but not everyone has one with your own family baseball logo. Buy a white baseball cap at a craft store and let him decorate it with fabric markers. Design your own team logo on paper for your child to copy. Make caps for the entire family to wear proudly on game days.
4. Baseball Snacks
As you sing the traditional “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” song, it reminds you to serve peanuts and Cracker Jacks, maybe along with the all-American hotdog. Why not make this fun snack mix that is sure to please the kids? In a large bowl, let your child help you combine mini-marshmallows (baseballs), pretzel sticks (bats), and bite-size shredded wheat cereal (bases). Not only is this a yummy treat, but the baseball theme makes it fun for game day.