Tips and Tricks Tuesdays- Preparing to Catch a Ball

One of the harder things to learn when catching a ball is the hand-eye coordination and timing when to grab the ball as it approaches one’s arms.

If you’ve practiced throwing and catching with a 2-4 year old, I’m sure there have been many times where you end up throwing the ball and hitting them in the face or the ball just bounces off their arms or chest.

I like to use a balloon to practice catching since it is light and travels slowly through the air, allowing a child more time to prepare to catch it.   

You can practice throwing and catching in sitting as well, so a child doesn’t have to worry about maintaining their standing balance while learning to catch.

You can also work on hand-eye coordination and reaction time by not only having them  catch the balloon, but by also having them try to hit the balloon either with their hand or with a bat as it is thrown at them.

Don’t forget kicking too! you can throw /roll a balloon and have a child practice kicking.  Same reasoning applies, where the child has increased time to react to the balloon’s position.

Throwing a balloon at a child for them to catch or kick it also has them practice making adjustments as the balloon’s trajectory might change in the air.


Milestone information ball play: 

  • Around 1 year- children should start to learn how to corral a ball as it is rolled to them in sitting.
  • By 1.5 years, they should start trying to kick a ball in standing, and try to throw a ball in an over/underhand direction in standing
  • Around 2 years- they should begin to have their arms in front of them to prepare to catch a ball in standing and try to bring a ball to their chest when it is thrown to them
  • Around 3 years- they should be able to catch the ball in their hands only and not have to catch it between their arms and chest

Categories: Tips and Tricks Tuesdays

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