Why Do Toddlers Throw Things and Tips to Help Them?

4 min read

Written by Smita Srivastava

Smita Srivastava

Why do toddlers throw things?

Toddlers communicate with others around in many different ways. Toddlers seek attention, and throwing things is one way of capturing it. Toddlers will resort to anything to get noticed. Each toddler has different needs, capabilities, and also interests. But the question that boggles the parents the most is- why do toddlers throw things?

Sometimes toddlers find different ways of playing with toys, and throw toys which seem boring or even have fun throwing toys. There are toddlers who throw food too. Throwing things is a way of communicating with parents. Toddlers throw things sometimes just to find out how things work around themselves.

In This Article

Is it Normal For Toddlers to Throw Things Around?

A normal scenario of toddlerhood is to find them throwing things. It is their way of expressing their emotions. Toddlers experience a gamut of emotions, and it can be anything from hunger to tiredness or boredom. Toddlers are curious about their surroundings. Toddlers wonder what happens when an object is tossed.

Toddlers cultivate throwing things as a skill, which requires hand and eye coordination. Development of motor skills allows them to hold and let go of an object. Toddlers are learning about the world around them. They explore things, trying to understand their uses.

Why Do Toddlers Throw Things?

Toddlers throw things when they are irritated or upset

Toddlers throw things for various reasons. When toddlers are hungry or feel sleepy, they start throwing things. They crave attention all the time. Since toddlers cannot say words yet, they choose actions such as throwing things.

Toddlers throw things when they are irritated or upset. Throwing things can also be experimentation on their part. You can often see toddlers throw things just for the sheer joy of it. Things falling on the floor or hitting against walls or even breaking holds their interests.

Parents can realize that their toddler resorts to throwing things out of sadness or frustration, sometimes really due to pain or even hunger.

Problems That Might Arise Due to Throwing Things

Toddlers are at a phase of throwing things which later on turns into a habit for some. Discipline goes out the window when toddlers adopt the habit of throwing things. If such behavior is not corrected, then you find toddlers throwing things anywhere and everywhere. It becomes worse when they throw food.

Toddlers should not grow up thinking it is normal or okay to throw things. Their personality develops as they grow older and cultivating the habit of throwing things tends to become destructive. Mishaps and accidents may occur because of the trait of throwing things. It can physically hurt other people, like a family member or those around.

Your little ones should be made to understand that things should not be thrown and the message should be conveyed clearly in a way that they can comprehend.

[Read : 7 Tips For Disciplining Your Toddler]

Top 5 Tips to Help Your Toddler From Throwing Things

Tips to help your toddler from throwing things

When a toddler throws things, he or she is developing motor skills. Mostly it is enjoyable for toddlers to throw things. Parents need to deal with their little ones patiently. It is in the hands of the parents to make or break a habit.

Here are some tips to help you handle toddlers who throw things-

  • Give toddlers soft toys which will not hurt or break till they outgrow this stage
  • You must show an alternative when they have an urge to throw things because they sometimes experiment things
  • You need to teach your toddler to express needs in a positive way
  • Praise or reward them when things are played with in the right way. Be calm and comforting
  • Toddlers need to be weaned away from the habit of flinging food as well. Teach table manners in an interesting way

[Read : Top 4 Disturbing Toddler Behaviour Problems]

When to See a Doctor?

When to see a doctor

Though toddlers throwing things is a normal phase of growing up, sometimes there is reason enough to worry. You need to consult a doctor when at some point your toddler’s behavior follows a pattern or in other words becomes a habit.

You find that your little one is throwing objects for no particular reason. You may not be able to identify the reason which triggered this behavior. Toddlers do not pay heed to the warning of ‘not to throw things’.

Toddlers keep throwing things even though they are able to communicate with you clearly. Sometimes toddlers display intense anger or frustration each time they throw things, sometimes aiming directly at someone.

In some cases it may be a sign of autism. It is not conclusive though. But if you feel their behavior is not normal, you should definitely seek professional help.

While growing up, toddlers are exploring the world around them. They adopt different methods to gain attention or to communicate their needs and wants. Throwing things is a way of communication for them. It can also be a play to them. So, instead of worrying about why do toddlers throw things, relax and give them comfort. This is a phase which too shall pass.


1. At What Age Do Toddlers Stop Throwing Things?

Toddlers throw things between the age of one and a half years and three years. Toddlers eventually get over this phase.

2. Do Autistic Toddlers Throw?

Autistic toddlers may throw toys, often repeatedly. They often express their emotions through throwing objects.

3. Is Throwing a Developmental Milestone?

Throwing or learning to throw is a milestone which requires hand-eye coordination and developed motor skills. So, in a way if your toddler is throwing things, it can be considered a developmental milestone.

Read Also: Toddler Throwing Food on the Floor – Why and Tips to Stop

Smita Srivastava, Bachelors (BA) in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Delhi University
Masters (MA) in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Kurukshetra University

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.

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