We're challenging you to try this gross motor challenge with us! Try to catch the ping pong ball, from Lisa, three different ways!
It has been a cool and rainy spring this year. I needed to keep my boys challenged and busy on days when we could not get outside.
After looking in my craft supply closet, I pulled out our ping pong balls and plastic cups and set up three simple challenges for them!
How Many Ways Can You Catch the Ping Pong Ball?
The idea was simple: could they catch the ping pong ball into cups that were set up into different challenges?
To set up your own ping pong ball challenge, you’ll need:
- cups – any kind
- lightweight balls – we used ping pong balls
Challenge 1: Triangle Target Toss
For our first challenge, I used our cups to create a pyramid on our kitchen table. Standing at the opposite end of the table, my boys bounced the balls off the table and into the cups.
It took some time for them to adjust their strength behind bouncing the ball. They quickly learned the softer the toss the better!
I loved how they were able to adapt their strategy and catch the ping pong ball into the cups. It’s a great lesson in trial, error, and patience!
Challenge 2: Splish Splash Toss
For our second challenge, I added water to each cup in the pyramid. My boys loved this!
You can fill the cups up with varying amounts of water, some with a little more and others with a little less. Ask your kids to track which cups catch the ping pong balls the most often or easiest.
Older kids might want to turn this into a cool graphing project!
Adding water created an extra element of fun: trying to land each ball in the cup, followed by a small splash!
Discover more unique ways to add water fun to your hands-on play!
Challenge 3: Cup-to-Cup Ball Toss
For our third challenge, I had my boys each use one cup to toss the ball back and forth to each other. They loved keeping track of how many catches they could go back and forth before dropping the ball!
They also enjoyed increasing their distance between each other. It was an added challenge that they thought of on their own.
Keep the challenge going with more fun cup activities for preschoolers!
Try 3 More Catch the Ping Pong Ball Ideas
- Have your child toss the ball up in the air and see how many times they can catch it while moving another part of their body. For example, hopping on one foot, having one hand on top of their head while catching with the other, etc.
- Attach a few cups to the end of a table with tape and have your child roll the ball from the opposite end to see if they can land their balls in each cup. To add some fun, have them blow their balls across the table into each cup.
- For older children, you can play ping pong “tic tac toe” in a cup. Arrange nine cups in a square, three in each row. Bounce the balls into the cups and the first person to land three in a row, wins!
These ping pong ball challenges kept them busy and moving for over an hour. Bonus: they required minimal set-up and involvement from me – other than a quick explanation or monitoring from time to time.
I love finding simple ideas to keep them busy, especially activities that burn up extra energy!