Play Ball!

Baseball season officially kicked off earlier this week which gave us the perfect opportunity to embrace America’s favorite pastime. For dinner, we ate grilled hotdogs, chips and dip, deviled eggs, and watermelon. While eating and watching the Atlanta Braves play, we had lots of good language opportunities.

  • Point out some action verbs – hit, catch, throw, run, walk, wave, talk, swing, bunt, tag, jog, fall, slide, dive, hurl, wait, look, watch, shake, etc.
  • Use descriptors (adjectives and adverbs) to discuss what you see – “Wow! Look at that guy’s bushy beard!” “Did you see that guy steal second base? He had to run quickly to do that.”
  • Highlight words with multiple meanings – Some baseball examples include “steal,” “bat,” “batter,” “hit,” “play,” “base,” “plate,” “order,” “pitcher,” etc.
  • Discuss rules of the game using “if…then” statements – “If you get 3 strikes, then you are out.” “If you get 4 balls, then you get a walk and can go to first base.” “If you get hit by the ball, then you get to go to first base.” “If the batter hits the ball over the fence, then it’s a homerun.”
  • Explain some of the exceptions to the rules – This will depend on the language and curiosity level of your child. For example, during one at-bat I was pointing out the rule that “3 strikes and you’re out.” The batter quickly got 2 strikes…but he then went on to foul off about 5 pitches. Delaney was ready to declare that he was “OUT”, but I had to explain that he wasn’t yet. She didn’t completely understand it, but it was more about the conversation and giving her some background knowledge.
  • Celebrate rituals and traditions – My husband tried to get the girls to do the “Tomahawk Chop,” but they looked at him like he was crazy. It helped when they noticed that most of the people in the ballpark were doing it. We missed the 7th Inning Stretch, but we could add “Take Me Out to the Ballpark” to the songs we sing.
  • Talk about going to a game one day – Ask if they’d like to go to a game. Where would they want to sit? Who should go with us? Would it be fun to go during the day or at night?
  • Make connections to everyday life – Tell them about trips that you’ve taken to the ballpark. Talk about when you used to play baseball or softball. Remind them of any times they have played baseball in the backyard or at a friend’s house.

It’s more enjoyable when you can find ways to combine your favorite pastimes with your child’s learning experiences. The whole family can get involved, and it’s fun!

How do you incorporate your family’s favorite pastimes with learning opportunities for your child?

Melissa 🙂

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