We live and work right in the heart of Cardinal Nation, so it’s hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm that Opening Day brings. Getting our own little ones involved is just the next step! It’s hard to get a preschooler to sit through a game, and it’s even harder to watch the game with a preschooler asking questions the entire time. Despite all that, there’s no doubt that the combination of Baseball Heaven and sunshine gets parents thinking about throwing and catching with their preschooler. Why not start now? Throwing and catching with your preschooler can be a lot of fun, as well as great parent/child bonding time together, but making sure your expectations are age-appropriate can help you have more fun, and feel less frustration when the experience doesn’t look like you’d imagined.
Even when they’re very young, little ones seem to throw things constantly. Sitting in their high chair, riding in their stroller, or even while they’re up in your arms, they are always throwing things on the ground…seemingly just to watch you pick them back up! Which is exactly what they’re doing? Although children have learned the motor skills to throw something down on the ground, they are doing it more so to watch the cause and effect, rather than actually honing their throwing skills. Throwing things off the high chair or stroller takes little eye-hand coordination and aim, two skills that are essential for a beginning game of catch. Many people think of going to a infant care or child day care service, it is available for O’Fallon residents as they can send their child to best child day care center, Bright Start Academy.
Children under the age of two are typically unable to throw a ball overhand, much less with any control. Games that involve rolling a ball back and forth are more appropriate during this time period. Between the ages of 18 months and 2 years i.e., Toddlers, children might enjoy practicing throwing a larger, soft ball into a basket. This activity gives them practice strengthening their eye-hand coordination and larger muscle groups, without making your head the target! Cheer your child on when they make a “basket”, encouraging them to keep working on their skills! Once they hit age three, most children are able to throw a ball overhand with some control, giving you the opportunity to open the door for a game of catch.
The catch part is the tricky part though! Once children learn to throw with some accuracy, it’s easy to think that they’ll be ready to toss the ball back and forth. And they might be…if it’s a large ball! The bigger the ball, the easier it is for them to master catching it. As they practice this skill over and over again you can introduce a smaller ball, eventually getting them to a standard baseball. The greatest key to success any time you’re teaching your child a new skill is allowing them to master it. It feels good to be successful, and little successes build confidence for children to try new things. Setting your child up for success by taking things slow and introducing new stages only when they’ve mastered the skills they need will help them push their limits so that they can get better and better at it! Before you know it, you’ll be the one having a hard time catching their throws! Bright Start Academy helps your child in getting this accuracy of catching things by letting them play with their own and their friends so that they can enhance their vision while having fun.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of baseball in a town like ours. Having children who are alongside of you, getting caught up in the enthusiasm makes it even better! Throwing and catching with your preschooler can be a fun and exciting springtime activity that brings the excitement of the big time sports right into your yard. Remembering to take it slow, keep expectations age-appropriate, and set your child up to feeling confident and strong will help you make memories that will last a lifetime. Bright Start Academy organizes some fun activities for their kids to let them enjoy their playing. After all, it’s one way to bring a little Baseball Heaven right into your own backyard!