Baby Bocce Set
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A beautiful set of felt Bocce balls. A unique and appealing way for children to refine their motor control, hand-eye coordination and aim.
Each of the four large balls has a different colour/pattern. This allows up to four players to participate in the game, each remembering his/her own pattern.
The small “jack” or “boccino” is approximately 6cm, while the larger balls are approximately 12cm.
The softness of the balls makes them perfect for safe, indoor use.
The set comes complete with a storage bag. This helps to keep all five pieces organised and promotes the practical life skill of caring for the materials.
To play Bocce:
-First throw the jack/boccino. This becomes the target for the players to aim for.
-Each player takes a turn of gently rolling their own ball towards the boccino. (It is allowable for the player to gently ‘lob’ the ball underarm, but it would be preferable to initially guide children to use the rolling action).
-The player whose ball is closest can either be declared the winner or can score a point.
I personally recommend using the point-scoring method, rather than the immediate ‘winner’ method. I suggest defining a specific number of rounds (appropriate to the concentration span of the children playing) and allowing each player to collect their own number of points during these rounds. For instance - if five rounds are chosen then the players reset the boccino and play 5 times. In each round the closest player is awarded a point. After five rounds the scores are tallied - one child may have 2 points, another may have 1, the third might have 2 and the fourth may have 0. At this point there does not have to be a discussion of winners/losers, just a matter-of-fact observation of the quantities and then a decision of whether to begin again or pack away.
My reasons for preferring this method is partly philosophical but also developmental.
In terms of philosophy, it provides a way of avoiding ‘competition’. Montessori classrooms are non-competitive environments so it is not ideal to introduce games with definitive winners/“losers”.
In terms of developmental benefits, using the point-scoring method allows the children to engage in other skills while playing the game. They can start counting and can use materials (or pencil and paper) to make records of the increasing scores. For instance, the group could use counters. If they have decided to play ten rounds then they would know that they need ten counters. After each round the child with the closest bocce ball collects a counter and puts it in a safe place (such as in a basket, or next to a paper where he/she has written his/her name).
The manufacturer formally recommends this material for ages 3 plus. For legal reasons we can’t officially contradict this recommendation. I can, however, point out that I choose to use these in our Playgroup with toddlers. The balls are a perfect grasping size for an infant or toddler’s hands (and too big to represent a choking/swallowing hazard as a whole). We trust you to use your own judgement, expertise and supervision when deciding when to introduce this material to your child (or the children in your class).
All Papoose products are made with natural fibres and non-toxic dyes. They are made in Nepal with fair labor.
Please note that these items are handmade, using old fashioned techniques not automated machinery. It is therefore inevitable that some inconsistencies will be present. Each felt ball or bowl may be slightly different from the next, in terms of exact size, shape or shade. These unique attributes are meant as part of the charm of the item but if you are looking for exact uniformity then you should consider a factory made alternative.