Developing Your Toddler's Motor Skills

Catch It If You Can

Kids begin throwing to someone (as opposed to throwing from the high chair!) between 2 and 3. Little pitchers typically stand with a fixed body, with all the action in their arm. First throws fail because kids don't know when to release, so the ball drops to the ground.

Catching is even harder than throwing. When you see an object coming toward you, you need to assess how quickly it's moving and time your arm's reaction accordingly. "Kids can't form the decision about what to do with their arms in time to command their muscles," says Jensen. Instead, they wait for the ball to hit them, then make a motion to try to catch it. Of course, by then it's too late. Balls that are textured, make noise, or flash lights can be helpful for toddlers and preschoolers.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, May 2004.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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