Work with your child to develop his/her motor skill of catching using various objects in different sizes and weights.
Varity of objects to catch dependent on age and ability (examples: ball, stuffed animal, tissues, socks, scarf, or beanbag), a hoop or something to make a circle (i.e. string, chalk, tape), and a spot marker.
Create a medium size circle in a specific area. Create another space to stand and mark it with tape, Tupperware lid, or a spot marker.
- Begin by just working on catching different objects. Have you child throw a ball into the air and catch it. Next, have him/her throw a tissue or a scarf in the air. Lastly, have him/her throw a stuffed animal. Which one was the hardest to catch? Which one took the longest to catch?
- Next, try to have the child catch different items in a specific area by using the hoop.
- First, have the child toss the ball or item up in the air by him or herself.
- Next, have a parent or sibling toss them the object to catch. Can all items be tossed to be caught? Does the tissue go very far?
- Lastly, have the child stand on a specific marker and ask him/her to catch the items from that spot.
- Is it easier to catch the items that the child tosses in the air or is it easier to catch items that someone else tosses to them?
Focus: Where do a child’s hands need to be in order to successfully catch the object? Are larger objects easier to catch or harder? What about heavier items? Remember that practice makes perfect, and they might not catch the item every time. But with practice, and as they get older, it will get easier.
Challenge: Have children work on balancing on an object (such as a pillow or a curb outside) while catching. He/she will love having something else to focus on while trying to catch the ball, and it will continue to help build their motor skills.
**With 2s and 3-year-olds they might only be able to focus on one light item and only be able to catch it from someone else tossing it. This is perfect as it is a way to engage with your children and work on building a gross motor skill.