Developing my throwing and catching skills

These activities are for children aged 27-36 months and align with stage 5 of the Developmental Journal Babies Visual Impairment (DJVI).

On this page

Safety first

What you'll need

  • Objects which are easier for your child to catch, such as a softball, small pillow, balloon, ball with a bell inside or soft sponge bag. 
  • You may want to consider using: 
    • Lightweight objects – these travel slower and have reduced impact
    • Objects which create sound – such as bell balls.

    You can make this easier for your child by considering colour contrast.


  • Practise throwing and catching with your child indoors before trying this outdoors.
  • Bean bags and juggling balls are both softer than many sports balls and are easier to hold onto as they won’t bounce out of your child’s hands. You can make balls and beanbags easier to catch by adding a fabric tail so that there’s more for your child to grasp.
  • Balls with holes in or handles on are also easier to catch, for example, balloons, sponge balls, hollow balls or balls with holes in them.
  • Place a bell inside a foam ball or sewn into a bean bag.
  • To support your child’s needs, you may want to use brightly coloured objects, which contrast with the surrounding environment. Bigger equipment may also be easier than smaller equipment. 


  • Support your child by providing verbal clues and cues. Count to three before throwing the ball to allow time for the child to work out the direction the ball is coming from. 
  • Move to involve peers and encourage them to shout the name of the person they are passing to next. You might also want to be more specific, for example, pass to (name of child) on your right. 
  • You can gradually increase confidence and difficulty by beginning with rolling the ball along the floor, then introducing gentle bounces, which decreases the speed. This will also give your child more time to listen to the ball’s speed and route as it approaches. This would require an even surface and ball with a predictable bounce.
  • Practise these skills in a quiet environment before gradually increasing background noise. 

Please supervise your child at all times while completing any of these activities.

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