There are many good reasons to play ball games with a child from an early age but this does not necessarily mean the child has to be a tennis or football star!
When a baby or toddler enjoys popping bubbles, patting or hitting a balloon or watches a toy move across the floor they are developing their visual skills, hand-eye coordination, body and spatial awareness, crossing midline and much more.
Well developing visual skills (tracking and following) are important when the child reaches kindy and school age i.e. for drawing, writing, reading and copying work from the white board into books.
Ball skills also help children learn to anticipate and judge crossing a road safely or being able to react and move their body whilst playing a game of tag or riding a bike so you don’t crash into things.
Developing skills early is important and can help a child to develop confidence to participate and engage in games at birthday parties, pre-school / kindy, but it’s never too late to learn
At The Kids Place:
- We will assess a child using age-appropriate toys and activities to see what skills the child has and how we can best support and progress them.
- We grade games and activities to suit all ages and abilities (babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school children).
- We will grade the game and activity to encourage success and build self confidence with skills that involve visual tracking tasks. These might include tracking and following games starting with large, slow-moving items (a scarf, a balloon or beach ball or following a torch light) and progressing through to a tennis ball or badminton.
- For the older children, we may play games that are specific to the child’s goal, i.e. football, basketball/netball, mini-cricket or hockey.
- By practicing ball related skills in a safe and fun environment we can enable the child to gain the confidence required to join in with family and peer lead physical games and activities as well as PE and classroom games at kindy / school.
- As the visual skills associated with ball skills are emerging the child may also work with an Occupational Therapist to transfer these visual skills into play and learning.