Most toddlers go through a phase of development where they find great delight in throwing objects. A few of them will happily limit this behaviour to just throwing soft balls but the vast majority (at least the ones I’ve known) generalize their behaviour to everything and anything that isn’t nailed down.
Some of these junior baseball players have fantastic power and aim behind their throws! What’s a caregiver to do?
I need to protect the rest of the children in my daycare from being inadvertently hit with flying objects.
Here are my top two tips that have helped me survive the throwing phase with numerous toddlers.
1. Understand the reason behind, “Why do my toddlers throw toys?”
This is a phase of development the child is experiencing naturally. As their brains form connections about the world around them they receive messages to interact with their environment.
The brain is sending them strong signals to “throw’, “hop”, “run” and they simply respond to these inner instructions without thinking them through. Here is a link to an article, Optimizing Early Brain and Motor Development Through Movement, if you want to know more.
The main point that I keep in my mind is that the toddler isn’t trying to ruin my life; they are listening to their brain and developing their neural pathways concerning arm movements.
2. Show your toddlers, “What they CAN throw.”
My job is not to stop them from learning how to throw objects. My job is to make sure they throw SAFE objects.
If one of my toddlers is going through this phase I specifically move delicate or hard toys to the upper shelves of our toy cabinets. Depending on the child, I might have to completely remove some toys out of the toy rotation during this phase.
I provide lots of different toys that are safe to throw. Here are a few ideas that are fun to make yourself.
My toddler’s love to watch me create toys designed especially for them. These toys hold their interest longer and quickly become favourites in the playroom.
Here is a simple toy that only takes a few minutes to create, pom-poms! You can make all different sizes and colours. My children love to toss them around and they are soft and safe.
I made a quick video tutorial for you, if you want to create some for your toddlers.
Simple Pom-Pom Tutorial
I have two more natural handmade toy tutorials for you. Both toys are safe and good versatile choices to have in your playroom for toddlers who love to throw.
Please try to remember, your toddler will grow out of this phase. It is temporary.
Try to enjoy these silly moments as you throw pom poms around the playroom. They might be sweet memories in years to come.
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