Image by: Paul Scott

Target Practice

Age Range
3-6 yrs
Setup Time
1 minute!
Setup Location
Indoor/ Outdoor

Toddlers learn to throw and catch gradually and in stages, as their gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination continue to grow, and as their reflexes continue to develop.

This activity will give children the opportunity to practice the skill of throwing overhand. At this developmental age children should focus on throwing hard at the target. This will enable children to go through the full range of the throwing motion and assist them in “stepping with the opposite foot” when they throw. Stepping with the opposite foot when throwing is an important part of demonstrating a mature throwing pattern.

The throwing skills of young children will vary greatly. Some children may want to get close to the target while others will need the challenge of being farther away. While this activity seems very simple it is an important foundational first step activity for young children learning how to throw.

This is a great way to practice focus and build strong arms!


  1. Set up a target (a pillow, bean bag, stone or piece of cloth) on the floor (indoor/ backyard)

  2. Ask your child to aim and throw a ball at the target

  3. Remember to stress the cues “throw hard” and “step with the opposite foot”

  4. Increase the distance between your child and the target as your child begins to master his skill

Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.