Throw and catch activities improve motor skills and enhance hand-eye coordination in kids. Teaching throwing and catching skills to preschoolers should be a gradual process that’s in line with their progress. These tips will show you how you can teach throw and catch skills to the angel of your lives.
Once your little one has developed her fine and gross motor skills, it’s time to move on to more complex motor skills. Skills such as catching, throwing, kicking, and striking need adequate training before they mature. Activities involving catching and throwing not only increase muscle strength in kids, but also aid their overall cognitive development.
Smart Ways to Develop Ball Skills for Children
1. One Skill at a Time
It’s common for preschoolers to throw the ball in the wrong direction, thereby making it difficult for the partner to catch. So, begin by making your child practice throwing a ball in the park or against a wall. This way, slowly, she will understand the concept of velocity and distance– the ruling factors in throwing a ball. Also, while teaching throw and catch skills, don’t practice both at the same time. This is because your little one might develop her catching skills faster than the throwing skills.
2. How to Teach a Child to Throw a Ball
Include a variety of balls for teaching your kid the art of throwing. This way, she will learn how weight and size would affect her throwing speed. For example, heavy balls can’t be thrown too far, while the lighter ones can really bounce away a long distance(when thrown using the same force). Before you emphasize on the accuracy of throw, let your little one understand the correlation between weight, distance, and velocity.
3. How to Teach a Child to Catch a Ball
Once your little one is comfortable with throwing a ball, focus on teaching her how to catch a ball. You might notice your child getting scared of being hurt by an oncoming ball. To avoid this, use soft balls or even balloons to lay the ground for easy catches. In most cases, foam or fleece balls move slowly and that is why it’s easier for preschoolers to track and catch them.
4. Bouncing Balls
Bounce a ball and ask your kid to catch it. By practicing this, she will slowly learn to judge the angle. You may allow the ball to bounce and encourage your little one to jump for it as well. When the ball is thrown skywards, kids get more time to track its path, and as a result are able to catch it easily.
5. Don’t Overdo it!
Retain your kid’s interest in throwing and catching activities by not over-doing the same. If you continue to play ball games(only) for a long period, your child might lose interest. Also, instead of doling out verbal instructions, demonstrate. Preschoolers absorb better when instructed practically.
As kids progress with their throwing and catching abilities, it’s a good idea to alter the ball games for them. Also, praise them when they catch a ball or throw a ball properly. It will urge them to do better.