How Ball Pits Help Develop a Child’s Motor Skills
No matter where we find them, ball pits make children laugh and play. They’re a great way to keep kids busy while caretakers relax, knowing the kids are safe and having fun. A bonus of ball pits is that children are developing motor skills while they play. Let’s look at what those are and how ball pits develop a child’s motor skills.
What are Motor Skills?
Before moving ahead, let’s make sure we all understand what motor skills are. Basically, we use motor skills our entire lives. When we’re babies, those skills are limited, but we work on them daily during that crucial developmental time. In time, we go about our business, using motor skills daily without realizing it. Motor skills comprise two categories: fine and gross.
Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills involve large muscle groups, such as arms and legs. Running, kicking, and walking all involve gross motor skills because they use large muscles.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills involve small muscle groups, such as fingers and toes. Actions like holding a pen in your fingers, tying your shoes, or wiggling your toes use fine motor skills.
How Ball Pits Help
Like most playtime activities, ball pits contribute to the development of both gross and fine motor skills in children—specifically, they improve balance, hand-eye coordination, and throwing and catching skills.
While navigating the wobbly balls in the ball pit, little ones are learning the art of balance. While we just see them holding out their arms and taking tiny steps to avoid falling, children are increasing their core strength and preparing for larger balancing acts as they grow.
Hand-eye coordination is how our eyes and hands work together to grasp, pick things up, and reach for things. In a ball pit, just imagine how many times a toddler practices that coordination as they reach for the perfect ball and then toss it. As they practice this over and over, children gain better control over this coordination skill.
Throwing and Catching
It seems like children are natural throwers and catchers, doesn’t it? Although throwing and catching is often a favorite pastime for little ones, the skill develops as time goes on, and activities like the ball pit enable that skill to flourish.
As a caretaker, always follow the rules at the ball pit, and if the sign says “no throwing,” encourage children not to throw. However, if it’s allowed, watch how each time you go, their throwing and catching skills improve.
As an indoor playground owner, make sure netting around the ball pit is safe to allow children to throw the ball pit balls.
So there you have it. The ball pit you thought of as something to keep kids occupied offers so much more. Whether you’re a business owner considering a ball pit or a caretaker needing activities for your children, you’ll start to notice how ball pits not only develop a child’s motor skills but also improve social and other important skills. You’ll never look at them in the same way.
Go Play Systems offers indoor playground ball pits for your indoor playground needs, along with many other options for indoor activities. Contact us today, and we’ll help design your vision for an indoor activity center.