Catch! Why Catching a Ball Is a Bigger Challenge than Throwing

Catch! Why Catching a Ball Is a Bigger Challenge than Throwing

Your child’s gross motor skills have been steadily improving as she gets older. One of the milestones she’ll reach at this age is the ability to catch a bounced ball most of the time. You may expect this skill to develop at the same time as throwing a ball. However, throwing can occur much earlier, as you know from all the food you picked up off the floor while your child was learning to eat! Catching an object can be a little scary, so she may hold up her hands and close her eyes when attempting to catch a bounced ball. You can likely imagine that you wouldn’t want to get hit by a thrown object either. And from your child’s perspective, it’s definitely a possibility when just learning to catch, so start with lightweight objects, like beach balls, that don’t pose any threat of harm and work your way up as her skill level improves.

Play Tips:

How can you support your child’s development of this Active, Coordinated Movement skill at this age? It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Start by rolling. If your child is struggling to catch a bounced ball, start your ball play by simply rolling the ball back and forth to one another. You may also want to start with a large, light ball, like an inflatable beach ball. As your child masters catching the rolled ball, start bouncing it just a little so that she can still catch it while seated. Move on until you get to bigger and bigger bounces.
  2. Use a balloon. Balloons are another great way to allow your child to practice catching. They move slower than a ball, so she will have plenty of time to get in the right position to catch it. They’re also easy for small hands to grip.
  3. Let her play catch with herself. Playing catch may be less intimidating if she’s the one doing the throwing. She could start with a balloon and then try a lightweight ball or a bean bag. You can also put a lightweight ball in a net bag or stocking, tie it to a rope, and then tie the other end of the rope to a hook in a doorway, a tree branch, or any other type of object that might work. Show her how to push the ball away and then catch it again. This will give her the opportunity to start small and gradually make bigger pushes and catches as she gains confidence.

Developmental Milestone:

Has your baby achieved the following Active, Coordinated Movement developmental milestones yet? If yes, check off all the skill(s) she has already mastered to date using Playful Bee’s developmental milestones tracker. It’s absolutely FREE and easy to use, just click HERE!

  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time.
  • Throws a ball overhand skillfully.

Playful Bee

Education Team at Playful Bee
Playful Bee is an e-Preschool that delivers inquiry-based preschool learning from the classroom to your home. Our preschool curriculum was created by our talented team of rock star teachers. With years of hands-on preschool and Kindergarten teaching experience, they've developed a high-quality preschool experience that is convenient-to-use and easy-to-teach by you, grandparents, or your nanny at home.

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