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Baby Basketball

Bite-sized brain snacks for Chicago’s early learners.

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Let your laundry basket be the goal. Invite your toddler to join you for a basketball game of throwing socks into the basket.

Why It's Important

Each time your child throws the ball toward the basket in an attempt to get it in, your child is using a combination of strength and coordination. While the task may not seem very complicated, your child's brain is working hard. It has to determine how much force to use to get the ball where it needs to go and when to actually let go. These types of experiences are paving the way for your child to one day ride a bike or paint a picture.

Journal/Talk:

Watching your child toss socks in the laundry basket might have you thinking about whether your child will one day be a talented athlete on the basketball court. Take a couple pictures of your child scoring a basket. Your child might thank you for the early skill drills you provided!

Not Ready Yet

If throwing the ball into the basket is too challenging, teach your child how to hold the ball over the basket and drop it in.

Need a Challenge

Move the laundry basket further away or above your child's head, and see how far your child can throw the ball.

Book Recommendations:

"A Ball for Daisy" by Chris Raschka

Extend the learning:

Help your toddler be physically active throughout the day even if it takes a little extra time. Instead of carrying your child, let your child climb the stairs while holding the rail or your hand every once in a while. Walk from the parking lot to the store entrance holding your child's hand rather than pushing your child in a cart. Encourage your child to climb in and out of the high chair independently but with you there for support.