Let's play with a ball
What you need
Soft ball to roll, throw or kick (for a quick and easy homemade version fold 3-4 socks into a ball), phone/kitchen timer
Where to find it
From a £ shop, toyshop or supermarket
Up to 12 months
Kick the ball
With your baby lying on their back, kneel facing them with the ball between your knees, and encourage them to kick it.
Roll the ball
With you and your baby lying on your tummies facing each other, roll the ball and encourage the baby to push it back to you. As they get better at this, move farther away.
Reach for the ball
When your baby can hold their head up while lying on their tummy, put the ball just beyond their reach and encourage them to reach out to it.
12 months - 2 years
Kick the ball
When your child can walk, encourage them to walk towards the ball and kick it.
Catch the ball
Show your child how to catch by holding their arms out. Make this easier at first by sitting or standing close to each other.
Dip the ball in a bucket or bowl of water, then bounce or roll it to see what patterns it makes.
Dribble the ball
Make an easy obstacle course and encourage your child to dribble the ball around it.
Throw balls into a wastepaper basket, increasing the distance as your child learns to throw more accurately.
Up in the air
Use a timer to see how long children can keep a ball in play without it falling to the ground.
And as they grow older...
Children can start to play football, rounders, cricket, etc.
Ask for used cardboard boxes for free from supermarkets and shops, or use your own
Water can provide endless hours of fun for young children – but remember to take care