Early Ball Skills typically are not assessed until a child is 12 months of age. Prior to age 12 months, it’s encouraged to give your child various opportunities to play with balls of different sizes and textures.
Ball Skills Encourage:
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Visual Tracking
- Cause and Effect
- Finger Muscle Strength
- Spatial Awareness
- Balance and Coordination
Ball skills can begin to develop during floor time activities as an infant.
- Tummy Time: playing with a ball allows for weight shifting and visual tracking, which can lead to rolling over
- Sitting: rolling a ball back and forth works on balance and taking turns
- Crawling: rolling the ball forward can encourage crawling skills
Types of Balls for Infants:
- The o-ball is a lightweight, hollow ball that is easy for infants to grasp and hold. Some o-balls have a rattle sound that provides a cause and effect.
- *Tip: place a scarf or bandana in the inside of the o-ball for your child to pull out. This activity works on pincer grasp, which is a part of fine motor development.
- Sensory Balls
- Sensory balls come in various textures to allow for a baby to enhance tactile skills, sensory awareness, and engage visual senses.
By 12 months a child should be able to:
- Roll a ball forward, at least 3ft
- Throw a ball in standing in any direction
- Begin to kick a ball forward, without bringing foot off the ground
If you notice your child not performing these skills, give our office a call. We would be happy to help your child gain these skills.