There are many reasons why children should play with balls, from learning hand-eye coordination and balance, to exploring cause and effect play, and flexing their fine motor skills. We’ve rounded up a handful of developmental benefits of ball play to learn more about this classic toddler toy.
Flexing Physical & Motor Skills During Ball Play
Gripping the spherical ball shape requires balance to grip and hold, a lesson for your child in physical control and muscle memory. The physical control of rolling, throwing or transferring a ball from one hand to the other is repeated frequently throughout playtime with toddler ball toys as well.
Multi-level ball play gets toddlers challenging their gross and fine motor skills with our Step2 Ball Buddies Double Drop HQ™.
Roll into STEM Education Playtime
The physics concepts of movement, force, gravity, and cause and effect are present in ball play toys. Through repetition and observation, little ones will start to learn which movements make the ball roll, bounce, or fly through the air and land – and which movements make the ball stop altogether.
Levers, catapults, and pulleys, oh my! The Step2 STEM Discovery Ball Table™ brings physics concepts to life with engaging ball play.
Explore Visual & Memory Skills with Ball Play
Visual-spatial skills are heavily involved with ball play. If your child rolls the ball too hard, it may hit something or fall off of a table. If the ball is thrown too softly, it will fall short of the intended basket. Little ones will learn how to contain the ball within their play space through trial and error, improved hand-eye coordination and physical dexterity.
The tunnel, ramps, and flippers on the Step2 Ball Buddies Tunnel Tower™ help toddlers understand play space boundaries as they learn to control the play balls.
New Language & Social Skills
Passing a play ball by handling, rolling or throwing teaches toddlers about cooperation and sharing. This type of play teaches them how to take their turn and rely on the other person to keep the game going, and sometimes to communicate and ask for the ball back.
Little ones can have a ball together with so many ways to play in the open design of our Step2 WonderBall Fun House™.
Play Together! Toddler Ball Play Tips
- Ball play is a great way to work on eye contact and language. Have your child pass the ball to you, then wait for them to make eye contact with you before passing it back. Work in the use of “May I have the ball back, please?” and “Thank you for gently passing me the ball” when passing the play ball to practice manners, sharing, and new vocabulary!
- Step2 ball play toys include play balls with a variety of colors. Spend time with your child sorting the balls by color, creating color patterns, and even practicing saying the color names out loud during ball play. The more they play, the more practice little ones will get with gripping the balls and learning colors.
- Extend playtime into your clean-up routine! During clean-up, engage your child by counting the play balls together as they’re neatly tucked away for next time.