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Basket Ball

Help children learn how to describe the location of objects with words such as in, near, behind, and in front with Basket Ball.

Activity 4: Describing the location of objects using words such as in, next to, behind, and in front


Several lightweight balls (or crumpled paper balls) and a laundry basket or bucket

Try It Out:

  1. Place the basket 2 to 3 feet away from your child and show her how to toss the balls into the basket.
  2. Say, “Can you throw the balls into the basket?” Give her 1 ball at a time. For each ball:
    • If she gets the ball in the basket, cheer her on: “You did it! You got the ball in the basket!”
    • If she misses, talk about where the ball went, such as “The ball went too far” or “The ball went next to the basket.” Use words like behind, in front of, near, and close to describe the location of the ball when it doesn’t land in the basket.
  3. When your child has gone through all of the balls, gather them and let her play again. This round, each time she throws the ball, say, “Where did the ball go?” and encourage her to describe where it landed.

Making the Most of This Activity:

  1. Instead of balls, you can try this activity with small soft toys, such as stuffed animals or bean bags.
  2. Try it with 2 baskets; 1 close by and 1 far away.
  3. Try the activity outside, such as on the sidewalk or at the park.
  4. Make this game part of everyday routines. For example, have your child toss clothes into the hamper or laundry basket while undressing.


Was your child able to make a basket from 2 to 3 feet away? Did she use at least 1 word to describe where the ball landed?

American Institute for Research

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