Catch! Practice can improve eye-hand coordination!

Playing catch can be a struggle and create a social impediment. Try these tips to help every child enjoy the feeling of success when you catch the ball:

  • Start simple! If you have a “sports challenged” child, encourage play at every age and level. Try rolling a ball back and forth on the floor.  Sit with legs spread apart to create a “goal” if needed.
  • Use a large ball: Bigger objects are easier to catch.
  • Use a weighted or highly tactile ball: The sensory receptors will anticipate the “catch” sooner.
  • Stand close together while playing catch: Do this before trying to throw and catch at a distance.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Not everyone is gifted, but practice will show improvement. Just 5-10 minutes a day can make a big difference.
  • Use a sticky ball and glove that literally makes the ball stick to the hand: Later you can progress to a standard glove and ball.
  • Use a lot of different objects to give variety to learning how to catch: Frisbees, football, basketball, tennis balls, and rubber balls are all great options for mixing things up.
  • Remind the player to look at the target when throwing: Also, to look at the ball when catching.
  • Use boardagames: Puzzles, mazes, dot-to-dot and other quiet board games can help to improve visual tracking.
  • See if your child can track well: Follow a slow moving object from side to side without moving the head.  (By age 5, children should be able to do this ten times.)
  • Practice tossing with small scarves. Start with just one scarf.  Toss right, catch left.  Then toss left, catch right.
  • Sign up for a group sport only if the coach will work with your child. Otherwise, practice with your child yourself at home or research other options.
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Playing catch in various forms is an important part of childhood. We hope these tips help your family to improve hand-eye coordination!

Do you have creative ideas for improving hand-eye coordination skills? Share it with us at [email protected] or on our social media pages!