Throwing and hurling - The discovering toddler

You are busy cleaning the bathroom and do not pay attention to the little man. Only when you turn around again will you see what he has done. The complete laundry basket he has out of the way and he is cheerful with the dirty laundry to play. You were not waiting for that. And to clean up everything again, he does not do that again.
No matter how well your toddler can mess up, it will take months before he will be able to clean up the mess.


For you it may seem like your toddler is only making mess, but actually he is just developing. Especially fine motor skills are practiced with this. So important. But maybe not always useful. That is why we give you some tips on how you can guide your toddler in this, without being overstrained yourself.

Discard tips

Tip 1 - Watch his safety

Developing is nice, but in a safe way. Therefore, make sure that your toddler can not do anything to upset what can be dangerous. For example, a cupboard with cleaning products or drawer with knives, matches and / or scissors. He will not see any harm in it, but of course he can. Store this type of product out of its reach. You can also protect these lockers with a 'child lock', so that he is unable to open the doors themselves.
Of course you can forbid him to come into such lockers, but your toddler needs some time to get his impetus to restrain himself from coming to things that he really can not touch.

Tip 2 - Offer him the opportunity

Give him the opportunity to throw something empty that is safe. You can also make that yourself. Think for example of a basket with different pieces of fabric. You probably have some old clothes, or old bags where you can pick up pieces of fabric and with which you can fill a basket. The different materials naturally make it extra fun. Do not use any rope, or other material with which he could possibly strangle, but limit yourself to small pieces of dust.
Of course he can also empty his own toy tub, or a big basket with cuddly bears.

Tip 3 - The sandbox

The sand in the sandbox is perfect for filling and emptying different products! Empty cups, empty bottles, trays, you probably still have some plastic dishes in the kitchen that you no longer use. Your child will have fun with this! In the summer there may also be some water to come and then it is of course completely fun!

Tip 4 - Put together in a playful way

Filling is unfortunately not as fun as emptying for many toddlers. Tidying up will probably be less enthusiastic, but can be a lot more attractive for him if you make a nice game out of it. Sing for example a nice songs. You can also always clean up a toy or a block in the box. Be vigilant because emptying remains the best for him! The chances are big when all the toys or blocks are in the box, he turns the box upside down again!

Tip 5 - Keep it nice

It makes no sense to exert pressure if he does not do well, or does not clean up with motivation. Punishment does not make any sense, because he has actually done nothing wrong. In fact, he only learned from emptying. Of course you can give him clarity and tell him that he can not spread the chaos throughout the house. Assign him a place where he can do it, so that not your whole house becomes a chaos.
You can also challenge him by saying: 'I'm very curious how fast you ...' or 'Can you clean up the blocks in the time I sing a song?'

Explanation does not make any sense yet

Only when your toddler is about one and a half years old does it make sense to give him a reason why something is not allowed. Before that time it does not make much sense. From about eighteen months you can explain to him that it can be dangerous to let things run around, because people can fall over or break something.

Throw on the ground

Toddlers love to drop things, for example throwing their cuddly toys from the highchair on the floor, or throwing their toys out of their bed. Or, which makes you less happy, throwing food on the ground. The fact that you are going to pick it up for him is only more fun. And with your irritation it only gets better for him! How can you best deal with it?

Throw tips

Tip 1 - Stay calm

Your irritation only awakens him to do it again and again and again. He just likes it better. Better, therefore, you can hide your irritation as much as possible and pretend it does not matter to you.

Tip 2 - Safety

Be careful with fragile items. Make sure he can not reach here, so that the shards do not fly around your ears.

Tip 3 - Also to the ground

Just put it on the ground too! He can then pick up the cubes, hugs or toys himself. Was he accidentally throwing food? Then make sure that the meal ends quickly.

Tip 4 - Make a virtue out of necessity

If your child likes to throw it off, maybe he can throw those cubes in the box? Is it equally cleaned up.

Video: Iceland Puffins. National Geographic

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