Zebra Pads are back!
Paws - or Pads in this case, as we've never seen a Zebra with a paw - are a variation on our original Hitting Hands, which secure the hand with a velcro strap. Paws secure the hand by holding it inside its elasticated cover. So it couldn't be easier.
As a teaching product, they are excellent for large classes - so easy to put on, and there are plenty of pair games and exercises they can be used for.
Slip a hand inside the elasticated cover, and it's held against the Paw hitting board with no need to grip. And because there isn't a handle distancing the hitting surface from the hand, it's far easier for children to coordinate eye and hand, and connect hand and ball.
So how do you teach with them?
Try using them first of all with balloons, or Balloon Balls. See how many times children can tap the balloon up into the air, or volley to each other. Balloon Balls are more robust and great for hitting against a wall, or down against the floor.
Paws are 'unhanded', in that they'll fit both left and right hand. Training both sides of the body is a good thing for all sports, so swap them over and have a go with the 'wrong' hand. Then put a Paw on each hand, and volley with both.
Maybe bring in a net system and teach hitting over a net. Zsig's Early Years Mini Net System for young children works very well, with variable height Multisport Nets giving you tennis height and volleyball height for older kids. But you can always stretch some of our Race Tape across a classroom for a really easy and cost-effective solution to creating an instant 'net'.
And then move on to sponge or cut foam Mini Tennis balls. Easy!
They're great for parents and children at home, too. For very young children, a balloon will fall slowly enough to allow a child a chance to hit it. Move on to Balloon Balls for more robust games, such as hitting up in the air, against a wall or floor. Or volleying - with either or both hands at the same time.
They've also been designed with Inclusive teaching in mind. Paws give a hitting surface with no need to grip anything, and being right on the hand there's a greater chance of a successful strike. And they're very simple to put on and take off.
Pad / Paw covers remove easily for washing, too.
Zebra Pads come in pairs. Main image shows current colour.