Hav­ing a ball! The ben­e­fits of ball skills

Balls are fun! They come in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes, colours and tex­tures. The ben­e­fits of ball skills go be­yond the idea of a gross mo­tor ac­tion. Ball skills help de­velop eye-hand co­or­di­na­tion, vis­ual track­ing, body aware­ness, mo­tor plan­ning and re­cip

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents - YB

A BABY OF­TEN starts throw­ing a ball at around 12-18 months when they have more con­trolled re­lease in their hands. Catch­ing only comes around three to four years old.

Even though these skills only de­velop in the tod­dler years, ba­bies love to watch a ball roll in front of them, and once sit­ting, en­joy rolling a ball back and forth with mom or dad.

MILE­STONES FOR CATCH­ING

• One-year-olds should be able to catch a soc­cer-sized rolled ball while sit­ting down by en­clos­ing the ball with arms and hands, with­out fall­ing or los­ing their bal­ance.

• By the age of two, a child is able to stand and hold his arms in front of

his body, with palms up in a re­ceiv­ing po­si­tion in an­tic­i­pa­tion. He will bring the ball to his chest to se­cure it.

• By three years old, he should be able to catch a ball thrown from about 1.5m away with his hands only, with arms out­stretched, with­out the need to bring his hands to his chest.

• At four-and-a-half, a child is able to catch a ten­nis ball from 1.5m away us­ing his hands only at least two out of three times.

MILE­STONES FOR THROW­ING

• At 12 months, a baby can roll a ball for­ward on the floor and can usu­ally throw but with­out any goal di­rec­tion.

• By 18 months, a child should be able to stand and throw a ball with­out fall­ing.

• By two years, a child will be able to throw a ten­nis ball for­ward at least 1m us­ing an over­hand and un­der­hand tech­nique. By two-and-a-half, that dis­tance dou­bles.

• By three-and-a-half years old, a child will be able to throw a ten­nis ball for­ward in the air with good tech­nique.

• By four-and-a-half years old, a child can throw a ten­nis ball un­der­hand­edly at least 3m.

KICK­ING A BALL

• By 2 years old a child will have the bal­ance and co­or­di­na­tion to stand, lift his foot, and make con­tact with a ball.

• A 3-year-old can kick a ball for­ward by bring­ing his foot back­wards with knee bent.

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