Motor Development: Catching

There aren’t too many kids that would say no to playing with a ball. Whether it is throwing or kicking a ball around, they provide hours of simple fun and in many cases these days, much-needed physical activity!

What Is Catching For A Child?

Gross motor skills are those that require whole body movement and involve the large (core stabilizing) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing, walking, running, and sitting upright. It also includes hand-eye coordination skills such as Catching. Children must gain possession or control of an object by reaching to intercept a moving object. Catching is relatively difficult as a developmental task. During early childhood we see children throw and kick, even if their movement patterns are not yet proficient. But if young children Catch a ball, it often reflects the skills of the thrower in getting the ball to arrive in outstretched arms.

Why Is Catching Important?

Children better predict the ball flight as they get older, especially when the viewing time (path of the ball) is short. This helps children overall with anticipation.  A unique feature of this work is that it is based on catching balls thrown directly to the catcher as well as balls are thrown high or to the side of the catcher. These sequences suggest that as catchers improve, they

  • are better able to move their bodies in response to the oncoming ball,
  • adjust their hands to the anticipated location of the catch, and
  • catch the ball in their hands.

Catching, like striking, involves anticipating where a ball can be intercepted as well as the ability to complete the movements that position the hands at that location.

A Fun Way to include Catching!

FARMER HARVEST TOSS: Print out pictures of power foods and scatter them across from your athlete. Next, take bean bags of the same colors as the food, and toss your athlete a bean bag to catch. once they catch the bean bag they should run to their power food garden and harvest the power food of the same color as their bean bag. then finally plant the bean bag in its place.



For more games and other fun moving activities find an Amazing Athletes program near you! If you want to spread the joy of movements and sports in your area check out our Franchise Opportunity page and learn how to become your own boss!

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