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Generally, throwing things comes easily to children. However, some kids may not be very good at it. There are several reasons why, but correcting poor throwing in toddlers can usually be done with a few easy tips. Learn what these are and help your child improve.
Throwing things an enjoyable pastime for children is also a very important gross motor skill. By the age of 15-18 months your toddler will start wanting to throw a ball or maybe food, toys and clothes. Catching is, of course, tougher and your toddler won’t be able to do that until she’s around 3 years old. A child learns to throw by starting to roll the ball towards you. Gradually she moves to bouncing and then throwing underhand, and finally, she learns how to throw overhand. If your child displays poor throwing skills, there are things you can do to help.
Tips for Teaching Ball Skills to Your 17-month-old Child
Start with slow rolling games that don’t scare her. They reinforce the same back and forth motion and also helps hand-to-eye coordination and development of other motor skills. Begin with soft, spongy balls so she doesn’t get hurt. You can get her an indoor bowling set too. Cheer and encourage her when she hits the target. It helps in developing ball-throwing ability in toddlers. Start throwing the ball towards her from a short distance and gradually move on to farther distances and smaller balls, to increase the level of difficulty.
Causes of Poor Ball Throwing in a 17-month-old Child
1. Developmental Coordination Disorder
Developmental coordination disorder or the clumsy child syndrome may be the reason your toddler has difficulty throwing a ball. Affected children find it hard performing tasks that involve using the large and small muscles, such as writing, throwing, or catching balls, and buttoning buttons.
2. Asperger’s Syndrome
Asperger’s is another reason a child may not be able to throw properly. The arm movements of children suffering from Asperger’s are not properly coordinated. They may also have a problem with timing. For instance, they may get their hands together to catch the ball after it has already reached them.
3. Copying Adults
Children, especially 12-18-month-old toddlers, learn by emulation. If you are a weak thrower, your child will, in all likeliness, throw like you. This doesn’t mean that you throw the ball with all your strength at your child! As she grows older, keep instructing her to throw higher, faster, harder, lower, or slower. Children copy adults and when you show your child how to throw, she’ll learn and improve quicker.
If it’s not a neurological disorder that’s the cause of your child’s poor throwing skills, chances are she will get better with proper coaching and instruction. Helping toddlers to throw a ball can begin from an early age. When toddlers begin to throw things, they end up throwing everything they can lay their hands on in excitement.It’s important that you explain what things can be thrown and what can’t. Always encourage and cheer your child, because as she grows older and her motor skills and hand-to-eye coordination improves, her throwing and catching skills will do the same.
How do you help build your child’s throwing skills? Share your ideas.