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As babies grow, they learn a lot of new things and develop gross and fine motor skills. An 18-month toddler throwing and catching ball is definitely a sight to see. However, this does not happen overnight. Find out all that you need to know about this developmental milestone.
Your baby is indeed a bundle of joy for you. The days that follow her arrival are filled with excitement and new discoveries. The joy multiplies as she starts responding to her surroundings and begins exploring things. Each developmental milestone is something to appreciate. Once she starts walking, you want to help her progress, perhaps by teaching her to play ball. But how do you know if she’s ready for the next step?
When will a Toddler Learn to Throw and Catch a Ball: Know the Right Time
Though babies can be enamoured by balls from a very early age, the first successful attempt at throwing a ball happens between the age of 12 and 18 months. However, catching a ball is another matter. It requires a lot of practice and your baby might take her own time in developing hand-eye coordination. Children usually hone ball-catching skills between the age of 3 and 4 years, though it takes a few more years before they’re able to perfect them.
Encouraging Toddlers’ Developmental Milestones of Throwing and Catching
1. Start Early
While every child develops at their own pace, you can always encourage growth. Introduce yours to a ball from an early age. She’ll slowly learn to hold and roll it on the floor. This develops strength of the fingers and also improves hand-eye coordination.
2. Set a Target
Once your child is old enough to throw a ball, it’s time to put in some effort to enhance her new skill. Start off with some easy-to-throw objects like tiny cushions, balloons, foam balls, and small beach balls. Set up targets like buckets and baskets for her to toss them into. Set them a foot or two away and gradually space them farther away. You’ll need to show her how to do it, but once your child gets in the mood, it’ll be loads of fun for her and you.
3. Catching Practice
Playing ball with your toddler encourages motor development and also helps the two of you bond. For starters, begin by throwing the ball while you’re sitting down. Your tot will find it easier to gauge the distance. Don’t expect her to be an expert at catching the ball from the word ‘go’. You’ll need to do it a number of times and for days on end. Be patient and continue to work with her. To keep her interested, use balls of different colours and sizes. As she slowly learns to catch the ball from a certain distance, gradually increase the gap between you two.
Not all 18-month toddlers are experts at throwing and catching balls. Yet, parents sometimes worry if their toddlers are lagging behind their peers. If your child is taking her time to develop this skill, there’s nothing to worry about. Just keep practicing with her, but make sure not to overdo it. With time, your child will master motor coordination skills and move on to learning something more challenging.