"Play with me!"
Yes - even two-year-olds can play with a ball.
(Getty Images)
For children aged 2 years old
What children can do
The development of ball skills involves much more than just learning to throw, catch or kick a ball. At this stage the most important priority is to encourage crawling and weight-bearing using the arms, Katz says.

By the age of two your child may already be able to catch a ball, cushion or beanbag thrown gently and directly at the chest. If children can kick a ball accurately, catch a small ball or throw the ball deliberately in a specific direction they’re blessed with exceptional ball skills.

Over to you
Don’t overdress children – it limits their ability to move freely.
Let children go barefoot as often as possible.
Don’t over-orchestrate children’s activities – allow them to be creative.

Here's how
  • Encourage crawling through tunnels, boxes and obstacle courses and under tables, chairs and sheets (fun factor: tempt them with a toy at the other end of the tunnel). Even older children should still be playing games that involve going down on all fours.
  • Use push-and-pull toys to develop balance and strength in their arms.
  • Use floor-based activities such as puzzles, finger painting and drawing with chalk on paving to place weight on their hands and knees and involve the whole body.
  • Create opportunities for climbing, even if it’s just up and down steps.
  • Throw balls of various weights, textures and sizes in and out of a ball pond or toy box, or roll them towards your child.
  • Give children bats or bashers for hitting balls or hanging targets.
  • Get toddlers who’re able to walk to start kicking a ball, even if they have to hold on to something.
Read more in this series:
"I've got a handle on this ball thing" for 3 and 4 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

Do you think 2 years old is too young for ball play?

For more on family fitness visit Health24.

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