Movement of the Month: When Do Kids Learn How to Swing a Bat?

Movement of the Month: When Do Kids Learn How to Swing a Bat?

Put simply, striking is when a child uses a designated body part or implement to propel an object. It is one of the most complex fundamental movement skills and is fine-tuned over time with continued practice, exploration, and encouragement. Children typically begin to explore this movement between the ages of 2-3, and they often learn to strike using both hands before they can strike with one. 
 
  • Striking helps children learn about cause and effect, improves their sense of spatial awareness, and develops their hand-eye or foot-eye coordination. 
  • Striking helps children develop proprioception as they explore different ways they can move their body parts, rackets, and bats to move an object!
  • Striking serves as a foundation for softball, baseball, tennis, golf, volleyball, soccer, field hockey, ping pong, drumming, tetherball, and even high-fiving someone!


Did you know? 

There are several benefits of developing movement skills beyond just learning the skills themselves! Exploring movement helps children develop confidence, social skills, and their sense of achievement as well as helps improve their strength, posture, and even sleep!

What are some signs or milestones that my child is ready to strike?

Remember, every child develops at their own unique pace! Here are some common milestones you may see:

-striking a stationary object
-striking a stationary object multiple times in a row (tapping a balloon with your hands or hitting multiple balls on the ground in a row)
-striking a large, soft object that is underhand tossed towards them
-striking an object back and forth with someone

Watch video to see the different milestones in action!

How can I encourage my child to explore striking?

Blow up a balloon, beach ball, or simply roll up a big ball of paper. Encourage your little one to explore what happens when they bump into it, kick it, or strike it with their hand! Next, try adding a small implement such as a wooden or plastic serving spoon, small hockey stick, bat, or racket (keeping in mind the house rules!) Providing them with the time and space to explore, even if they aren't holding the bat or racket with the correct grip, is helpful practice!

 

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Note: This information is meant for educational purposes only. Always reach out to your pediatrician, physical or occupational therapist with specific questions and concerns about your child’s development.

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