Written by Smita Srivastava
Throwing a ball is one of the activities that can improve both the gross and fine motor skills in toddlers. As gross motor skills develop earlier than fine motor skills, your toddler will first learn to grab and throw a ball with two hands before doing it with one hand. But first, they will start with rolling the ball and checking its movement. All these activities are signs that the toddler’s development is on track.
A soft, spongy, and colorful ball easily grabs the attention of toddlers and they get excited when it bounces. Thus balls are one of the favorite play items of your little one. It is important to let your toddler throw a ball as this playful activity has manifold benefits for them. So, when can a toddler throw a ball? If this is the question in your head then check this article.
In This Article
Toddlers can start rolling a ball playfully between 13 to 16 months. Around 17 months they can abruptly throw a ball without a concern of aim or direction. They may use the strength of their entire body in the process and lose balance or fall as a result of it. It can take about 21 to 22 months for them to throw it underhand. And finally, for hitting a target or aiming at a goal, your toddler can take about 38 to 42 months.
Playing with a ball, and throwing it has a lot of importance for your toddler’s sensorimotor development. Touching and throwing balls of different shapes and textures can help them understand how objects react to nature. Toddlers love to play with things that move and roll. They love to throw objects to check what happens next. A ball is thus a great play item for them as it can fulfill both of the requirements without getting damaged.
Throwing a ball has multiple benefits for a toddler. This playful activity can fit both indoors and outdoors. According to an article published in JSTOR, throwing balls with mom and dad or elder siblings or fellow toddlers will help develop a sense of bonding, coordination, and socialization in your toddler. Here are some benefits of throwing a ball-
There are some steps you need to follow before introducing a ball to your toddler. You need to consider the material, texture, and durability of the ball. Here are some tips that you can follow while practicing throwing a ball with your toddler-
Your toddler will not learn to throw a ball in a day. You may have to show and tell them multiple times before they can begin to throw a ball by themselves. Patience is the key here. You can also follow these activities to help your toddler throw a ball
Gently roll a colorful ball toward your toddler to see their reaction. Do it multiple times and soon they will learn to push and roll the ball.
At first, you can sit close to your toddler to make them throw the ball at you. But you need to set different goals or else your tiny tot will get bored with the same game. You can set colorful blocks or cones and instruct your little one to throw the ball aiming at them. You can use a bucket or a laundry bag for the same purpose.
After your toddler starts throwing the ball you can initiate them to throw it overhead, and then underhand. You can use short phrases while demonstrating to let them understand the process. You can use phrases such as- “put it over your head and throw” or “move it by your sides then throw”.
By increasing the difficulty level you can challenge your toddler to become an expert and gain new skills in throwing a ball.
Do not get harsh on your toddler if you do not get an expected outcome. Praise your toddler whenever they show a little bit of improvement. According to a study published in the journal, Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), praising words from parents will encourage toddlers and build their self-confidence.
Delay by a few months in your toddler throwing a ball, is absolutely fine. But if the toddler does not learn how to throw a ball before the school going age, then there can be serious underlying factors such as-
Children with difficulties in learning new things even in a play-way method need special attention. Otherwise, in the school atmosphere, they get secluded from their peers as they realize they cannot do what their friends do.
This sense of repeated failure can harm their self-esteem and hinder their progress. Thus timely attention is important. If you feel your toddler is lacking in displaying any of the age-appropriate skills, then it’s best to talk to their pediatrician and allay your fears.
Throwing a ball is not just a play activity in toddlers. It is an indicator of your toddler’s timely growth and development. You need to help your toddler in achieving the milestones according to their age. But while doing that you need to be gentle and full of patience. And, also keep in mind that each toddler develops at their own pace and a little behind or forward is not a thing to fret about. Hope our tips will help you to make a future pro basketball champion!
Yes, throwing a ball is an important milestone for toddlers. Throwing a ball is a vital developmental skill that we use directly or indirectly in everyday life.
By the age of 2 years, a toddler can throw a ball up to 3 feet away. And by the age of 3 to 4 years, the throwing distance may increase up to 10 feet.
With a background in Mass media and journalism, Smita comes with rich and vast experience in content creation, curation, and editing. As a mom of a baby girl, she is an excellent candidate for writing and editing parenting and pregnancy content. The content she writes and edits is influenced by her own journey through pregnancy and motherhood. When not writing- She can be found curled up with a book. Or, bingeing on Netflix.Read more.