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? Balls. Include different sizes, colors and textures that your baby will be able to grab. 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, ask him to roll or throw a specific ball.
Tips and Advice
- At this age, your baby's aim won’t be accurate. She’s still working on her hand and finger motions, so she'll be swatting or slapping the ball at first.
- Expect that you'll need to help her with these early motor development skills and that she'll need lots of practice. The goal is to help your baby gain control and coordination through the repeated actions of grasping, rolling, and throwing the ball.
As your child grows, it will be fun to see how the activity develops into her truly tossing, and eventually catching, the ball!