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Parents may not realize that kicking is actually a developmental milestone for their toddlers. Children between 37 and 42 months old are at the prime age to learn and master the art of kicking. It’s one of those skills that’s measured on standardized tests when a child’s motor skills are tested in school activities.
Between the period of 3 and 5 years, you’ll see that your kid is able to kick a ball with a lot more force and direction, as well as being able to coordinate between his arms and legs. Eventually, he’ll start running while kicking a ball.
Preschoolers’ Developmental Skills and Kicking
At a ripe age of 3 years- when your toddler has barely learned how to walk- pressuring him to learn kicking will do no good. Before you teach him how to kick, help him learn to maintain his balance and foot-eye coordination first. Once he has ‘mastered’ these two necessary prerequisites, you can encourage simple ball activities for your preschooler. Kiddie softball, volleyball, football and handball can be introduced to children aged 34-47 months of age.
1. Dealing with Difficulty/Lack of Interest in Kicking a Ball
If you see that your child is not very good at kicking despite having good balance and coordination, there’s no need to worry. A 3-year-old playing ball does not have to play perfectly. It’ll be some time before he can kick it confidently. In the meantime, help him hone his new skill by rolling a ball towards him and having him stop it with his foot. Show him how to kick the ball too by doing it yourself.
Preschoolers can kick a ball at the age of 3-5 years old. However, they need ample time to learn how to master the skill. You shouldn’t rush your child into it. If he doesn’t show much interest in learning the skill, encourage him by organizing a competition with his friends. Whoever kicks the ball the hardest gets a small toy, a small piece of candy, or an extra round playing on a swing.
2. Importance of Kicking a Ball
Why is a preschooler learning to play with a ball important? For starters, it paves the way for better coordination and balance. It also indicates physical developmental. Children are often evaluated on their kicking skills during physical activity classes. You want your child to feel confident when it happens. Encouraging kicking skills can also benefit kids who are naturally inclined towards mastering the skill early. You never know; your preschooler could one day become a professional footballer!
Every child learns how to kick in his own time. You can’t force them to pick up the skill. Leave them to enjoy playing with a ball and encourage them to learn to kick using the activities mentioned.
Has your child learned to kick yet? How did you train him to do so? Share your tips and ideas to get preschoolers to improve their kicking skills.