Motor skills development: Playing catch – baby-style!

Motor skills development: Playing catch – baby-style!

Playing baby catch not only develops your baby’s motor skills, but also provides an opportunity for some bonding time.

You and your 10- to 12-month-old will have a blast with this age-appropriate spin on the time-honored tradition of catch. Simply pushing a ball can boost his motor development since it promotes coordination and strengthens upper-body muscles.

What do I need? Simple: balls. Include different sizes, colors and textures – any soft or cloth-covered ball will do the trick.

How do we play? Roll a ball to your baby. Encourage him to roll or throw it back to you, helping him if he needs it. Be sure to talk about the objects and what you’re doing (“You just threw the green ball!” or “I’m rolling the spotted ball to you.”). As your child gets older, asking him to roll or throw a specific ball.

Tricks and advice

  • At this age, your baby’s aim won’t be accurate. He’s still working on her hand and finger motions, so he’ll be swatting or slapping the ball at first.
  • Expect that you’ll need to help him with these early motor development skills and that he’ll need lots of practice. The aim is to help your baby gain control and coordination through the repeated grasping, rolling and throwing.
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I did this with my daughter from an early age, it was an easy way for her older brother to interact gently with her. Now she's 18 months old and her favorite activity is catch!



i love this! i will be getting some things to roll around tomorrow!

Loves to do this


My daughter loves to roll and throw balls. In fact, a family member just purchased 150 play balls for her and she is in heaven when we get them all out!

loves to chase after balls


my little guy loves to chase after balls. He's starting to push it to chase it, but does not yet push back to me. Practice, practice, practice!

Rolling helped my baby crawl


My daughter just turned 9 mo but I've been encouraging her to roll a ball to me for a little bit now, even though she's not quite at that point all the balls I've bought have helped her crawl!

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