All Types of Catching


A great introduction into hand-eye coordination for developing the skill of catching.  Try using lots of different types of objects to catch - heavy, soft, big or small balls, balloons and beanbags can be used. Try using buckets to catch with. 

Set up

Have a range of different catching object available. These could be beanbags, balloons, balls or rolled up socks. All the children choose a catching object and spread out in front of the educator.

How to play
Step 1
  • The educator demonstrates each catching activity then all the children have a turn. Try some of the below or come up with your own:
    • Pass a beanbag around your waist and then move it up to your head, circling your body
    • Pass a beanbag/ball around one knee and then thread it around the other, making the number 8 
    • Start with a beanbag balanced on your head and try to catch it as it falls off 
    • Roll a ball and chase after it
    • Roll a ball towards a wall and catch it as it rolls back. Do this five times
    • Throw a beanbag in the air and try to catch it. See how many times in a row you can catch it
    • Try sitting down in a circle and rolling the ball around to each other, call out someones name as you roll it to them. Then add more balls
Step 2
  • Ask the children questions;
    • What object is easier to catch?
    • What is the hardest?
    • Where do you look when you are catching?
    • What do you do with your hands when you catch?
Step 3
  • Let the children come up with their own catching challenges and everyone have a turn at them
Make it easier
  • Use balloons for catching
  • Use buckets to catch
  • Roll the ball along the ground to practice following it with your eyes
  • Use a velcro disc and ball
Make it harder
  • Add in smaller or bouncier balls
Activity information
Age: 2-3 years, 3-5 years
Participants: 1 +
Equipment: Balls, Beanbags
Duration: 10 minutes
Skill focus
Explore these skills for teaching tips
Skill teaching

Before the activity, practice catching an invisible object with the children to get the catching technique correct. The educator demonstrates how to move your hands for balls coming up high (butterfly hands) or below the waist (wriggly worms). Remember these teaching cues:

  1. Eyes on the ball
  2. Soft fingers
  3. Butterfly hands: thumbs together and fingers pointing up for balls being caught above the waist
  4. Wriggly worms: fingers pointing down for balls being caught below the waist
  5. Move hands to the ball
Physical literacy tips
  • Let children choose what object they'd like to use
  • Start with catching activities that all children can achieve, such as moving the ball around your waist