"I can do this ball thing"
Imagination and skill combine!
For children aged 3 & 4
What children can do
This is the age when children should be able to catch a ball with outstretched arms if it’s aimed carefully at their hands. They may still be a little wobbly when balancing on one foot but can strike and kick with no problem.

Over to you
Enthusiasm and fun are more important than specific sports skills or results.
Don’t be overprotective; allow your kids free rein.

Here's how
  • Practise hitting, throwing, catching, kicking, bouncing and dribbling with softballs, stuffed stockings or beanbags.
  • Use ball holders and be the goalie while your child tries to kick the ball past you (fun factor: you’re a big ship in the harbour and the little ship – the ball – needs to get past you and out to the sea).
  • Use a rope to hang a big ball from a branch and get your child to head the ball (fun factor: your child is knocking on the door of the castle and is allowed inside only after three, four or five consecutive headers).
  • Let your children drop a big ball into a hoop and catch it.
  • Get a small tricycle for coordination and balance.
  • Let them climb trees.
  • Encourage sporting activities such as mini-golf, duster hockey, beanbag basketball, target games, skittles and so on.
Read more in this series:
"Play with me!" for two year olds
"Look! I caught it!" for 5 and 6 year olds
"Watch me go!" for 7 and 8 year olds
"Look what I can do now!" for 9 and 10 year olds
"Sign me up!" for 11 and 12 year olds

For more on family fitness visit Health24.

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