Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Learning to roll a ball involves whole arm co-ordination and agility and is something that babies learn to do at a wide range of ages, perhaps as early as 8 months, but might take much longer. Once they learn to push and release the ball, they can start to watch and learn how the object then travels (direction, speed). As they get older they can start to anticipate and plan where they want the object to go and try to roll the object accordingly.

Equipment required

  • scarfs
  • claves/ inside of kitchen rolls, cotton reels, or other tubular object

Training video

Fine Rolling-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.


One to two weeks

How it works

Children will be using their hands to practise a rolling action

What to do in the class

As well as rolling large objects it is just as important that children learn to roll smaller objects which requires a different from of co-ordination and muscles (fingers and hands). Provide children with rolling pins (these can be made cheaply by cutting down some lengths of tube, toilet rolls, or claves could be used). Ask them to pretend to roll some pretend pastry with the rolling pin. You also give them a scarf to be the pretend pastry. Ask parents to encourage the children to notice when they roll it forward and when they roll it back and the change in the direction of their hands as they do so. You could provide different small objects such as cotton reels and see if they can roll them from one end of the hall to the other side. You can also ask them to roll with each hand in turn and then both hands.

What to do in a nursery setting

Older children will be able to work in pairs, younger children, you will need to be seated in a circle, rolling the balls across the circle. Targets can also be used for directional rolling practice. Fine rolling will also work fine as described above.