Playing ball games helps your child with their muscle control, coordination and eyesight. These are all important areas of development for learning to read and write when they are older.
Repeat the words you say as you play. Your baby will begin to understand them, and may have a go at saying them themselves.
Even quite young babies will enjoy playing with balls, and watching their movement.
You can play indoors or outdoors. Soft or light balls are best for little ones, just in case they throw them a bit too hard!
- Sit opposite your child. Leave enough room to roll the ball to them along the ground.
- Before you roll it, say: Ready, steady, go! and use your child’s name to get their attention.
- Roll the ball gently towards them and encourage them to roll it back.
- Ask them if they want you to roll the ball to them; again?
- You can go faster and faster or roll the ball slowly to change things up.
- Talk to your child as you play, comment on what you’re doing and praise your child's attempts at rolling the ball.
- Describe the balls movements to them; rolling, rolling, rolling, stop! and say; my turn, your turn.
You can extend the game for older, more mobile babies by gently bouncing, throwing or kicking the ball.
Good to know
Playing with a ball will help develop your baby’s muscles and coordination. This is preparing them for skills they will need when they get older, like fastening buttons and zips, and learning to draw and write.