Toy Ball - Soccer Balls, Basketballs and Nerf Balls
Always a Favorite
Babies love to watch something in motion, no matter what it is - if it's moving, they're watching. That's why balls are such an important part of a baby's learning experience. Certainly, balls are fun, but they provide so much in terms of dexterity, hand-eye coordination and developing focusing skills. Balls always have been and remain one of the top ten preschool toys. Infants, from the stage when they can grab onto things onward, love balls and learn a great deal from playing with them.
Why Babies Love Balls
Babies will clutch, roll, toss, and chew a ball - which is why you don't give Nerf Balls to infants. Since everything goes into the mouth, a bite from a Nerf Ball could be disastrous. However, a soft, colorful, plush ball is perfect for a little one to play with and enjoy. It's a wonderful way to introduce balls to infants and also provides stimulation for the eyes and hands.
Balls are not only easy to hold, but they are also easy for babies to throw or kick. Give a soft ball to an infant who has just learned to sit and she'll try to roll it around. As she begins to crawl, the love for chasing things will take over and she'll smack the ball, then chase after it and repeat the fun over and over again. Of course, once she's up and walking then she'll kick the ball and run after it. It's a wild and fun game for babies and one they never seem to tire of.
There are so many ways for toddlers to play with balls. One of those ways is by creating a ball pool for your little one. Just get a kiddies' pool and fill it with toy plastic balls. The baby sits in the midst of the balls and tosses them, dives into them, and has hours of fun in a play space where they won't be hurt.
Learning How To Catch
Sports minded parents (and uncles and aunties) often buy toy sports balls for infants and toddlers. For the adult, introducing a toy soccer ball or toy football to a little guy is so much fun. The baby kicks the toy soccer ball, runs after it and kicks it again as he's being cheered on by an admiring fan. It helps the baby develop coordination, and provides lots of exercise. Tossing a toy football opens the pathways for learning how to catch. A baby may initially be afraid of a ball coming toward him, but with some encouragement, he learns to catch the ball. First it will be a "whole body catch" as he just stops the ball with his body, but over time, he'll grow to the place where he's using his arms and hands to catch the ball. His hand-eye coordination and physical coordination develop during this process.
Basketball is a sport where babies learn to use hand-eye coordination as well as physical control as they throw the ball up in the air with the hope of getting it through the hoop. It's a lot tougher than it appears and throwing a toy basketball with any control, especially up into the air and toward a hoop is a huge feat. As toddlers get a bit older and stronger, the more they practice, the better they become. Toddlers have lots of fun perfecting their throwing accuracy. Focusing skills, hand-eye coordination, and developing the larger muscle groups are all part of this type of activity. Not to mention the fact that the baby is burning up a lot of energy just trying to make a basket.
Rubber balls are great, but for larger children. Since the consistency and weight of a rubber ball is considerably more than toy sports balls or infant balls, a child's dexterity and coordination should be better developed before introducing him or her to this much firmer version of a favorite toy. Once they manage some control, a rubber ball can be a fun toy for children.
The Best Part of Playing Ball
There are many ways to use balls to encourage skills in babies. But, the real joy is in watching your child delight to the sound of a toy ball that has bells or music in it - or to see your child kick the toy soccer ball and then run after it.