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Teaching Your Child Ball Skills—Part 3: Throwing

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Now that you’ve been working on catching and hitting with your little one, you may want to move on to throwing skills. Obviously, your baby has probably been tossing toys around since he could sit up, but you’ll want to work with your preschooler on how to throw properly and how to make the ball go where he wants it to.

The best place to start is with underhand throwing. Use something squishy that your child can easily grasp. A rolled-up pair of socks is perfect for this. Have him hold onto the “ball” and swing his hand backward, then forward, and back again. Then have him swing his hand back and hold it there, then forward and hold it there. This helps develop control.

Explain that when he swings his hand forward, that’s when he lets it go. When he has practiced swinging his hand forward and letting go, then you can put out a big laundry basket and let him try to throw balls into the basket. Make sure to stop before he gets tired of playing.

To teach overhand throwing, you can start with hitting. Hang a balloon on a string from a doorframe. The balloon should be hanging at about the height of his shoulders. Show him how to hit the balloon overhanded. Have him hold his hand over his shoulder and then push forward to hit the balloon. This is the same motion he will use to throw overhand.

Once he has had fun batting the balloon overhanded, you can graduate to throwing socks or balls into a laundry basket, like you did with the underhand throwing.

Above all, keep it fun!


Photo Credit: Monkey Mash Button via Compfight cc