28 Mar Motor Development: Kicking
Did you know that kicking is actually a developmental milestone? Like throwing, kicking moves an object. Unlike throwing though, the kicker strikes the object. The child builds eye-foot coordination in order to prepare for a kick and make contact with the ball.
Children generally begin with ‘toe kicking’ (pushing the object with their toes) which does not get the object far. For force and distance, the child progresses to kick the object with their in-step, which is the area on top of the foot where the shoelace is tied. Further progression the child will learn to kick with the inside of the foot (the area between the big toe and the side of the mid-foot) which is also useful as it gives the kicker control of the object.
Why Is Kicking Important?
Kicking is one skill that we can measure when we are looking at a child’s motor skills in comparison with their peers. Kicking progresses gradually, just like most other motor milestones. Initially, kids will begin to tap the ball in front of them with their foot, barely getting one foot swinging off of the ground. Your child may attempt to kick objects soon after they learn to walk. Kids at a young age enjoy kicking a ball or other objects toward a tower of toys, like blocks, to attempt to knock them down. Eventually, a child will start running up and kicking a ball. By the age of 5, a child should be able to coordinate their body to meet and kick a ball that is rolled to them from a distance. This can be frustrating for the first few attempts, but once they get it down, those balls will come flying right back at you!
Basket of Eggs: In this game, a hula hoop is the basket. Scatter the hoops and balloons around the yard. The object is to get as many eggs (balloons) into your baskets (hoop) as possible using only your feet! Encourage your child to use only the inside of their foot for better control (just like in soccer). Whoever gets the most eggs in his or her basket wins!
FIND OUT MORE!
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!