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While there’s no age when a toddler can throw a ball, you can begin teaching from about 15 months of age. Is your toddler starting to play with one? Teaching him ball skills requires some interesting and well-thought strategies on your part.
“Catch!” “Throw!” These two simple words are enough to teach interesting ball skills to your 17-month-old child. You need to begin with the basics with simple ball catching and throwing tricks. Then, you need to move on to tougher challenges without making your toddler lose interest. The right encouragement and proper teaching can help him reach this essential development milestone effectively.
The Toddler Milestone of Throwing a Ball: Learning the Right Way
1. When Can a Toddler Throw a Ball?
There’s no pre-defined time for a toddler to learn to throw a ball. This development milestone usually takes place as hand mobility gets enhanced and kids learn to coordinate their foot and hand movements along with their eyes. Usually, this starts taking place about 15 months after birth.
2. Parents’ Role
Parents need to begin at a low, easy to grasp level. Every move should draw praise and encouragement to keep your child excited and eager to learn. Once a particular level of throwing and catching is attained, make the next one a little more difficult than before- without discouraging him in any way. For instance, take a step backwards, change the timing, or alter the strategy of throwing the ball.
3. Help your Toddler Learn Easily
Your child will make many unsuccessful attempts before he learns to throw a ball the right way. Help him learn through these mistakes by showing him how to improve. Position his hands for him, and help him use the right amount of force by holding his hands and throwing or catching for him. Here, the entire learning process can be split into two parts – throwing and catching.
4. Catch and Throw from a Static Position
Many toddlers are frightened by the sight of a ball coming their way. They may dodge it to avoid being hit. When they’re very young, they tend to rely on chance of throw rather than their own hand-eye coordination. To avoid this and allow kids to enjoy playing with a ball more, parents need to throw from a close distance and from a static position. Slow-moving objects or balls, like foam balls, balloons and scarves can be used for the purpose.
5. Handed Catching
You may wish to boost your toddler’s ball throwing ability from day one. However, this can intimidate him and make him run off when you say, “Let’s play ball.” Start with both hands or use a container to make the task of catching the ball easier. Gradually, you’ll find yourself throwing from different positions and getting your child’s attention without much effort. That’s the time to start moving farther away and playing with a little more force.
Throwing a ball with your 17-month-old is packed with a lot of exciting tricks. You’ll love this fun-filled activity too! When mom learns how to teach a toddler to throw a ball, he is sure to master the skill soon!