Teaching children to catch can sometimes be a little frustrating. However, having worked with pre schoolers for a while we have found a couple of good strategies to help.
- Don’t start from a high point. Young children especially those under 2 do not track upwards. Anything above their natural eye line just isn’t in their world so start with the ball or balloon at waist height, throw it gently up to about eye line.
- Use something quite big like a balloon or beach ball. This will encourage the child to reach out with both hands and if needs be they can cradle it in their arms just to start them off.
- By using a balloon or scarf it is slow moving giving the child plenty of time to watch it and even move their feet if needs be. Allowing them the judge where they can catch it.
- Use something the child wants, nothing like a brightly coloured ball that the child is eager to get hold of.
- Don’t feel you have to throw it, a little game of chase with a scarf gets the child used to reaching out and grabbing the object.
- Be patient, practice makes perfect and we all need to a little encouragement when learning a new skill.
Teaching someone to catch is rewarding so stick at it and enjoy!