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When do babies learn to kick a ball?

motor milestones: boy kicking a ball

Key points:

  1. Kicking a ball is a significant physical and motor milestone for children around two years old.
  2. The development of kicking starts with strengthening leg muscles during infancy, progresses to intentional kicking of objects, and further evolves as they learn to walk.
  3. Children refine kicking skills, progressing from basic kicks to running towards and directing the ball, enhancing coordination and confidence.
  4. Engaging in ball-related activities fosters holistic development, improving running, jumping, catching, and throwing skills.

Each of your child’s new accomplishments will be a reason for celebration! Just as you were delighted when they managed to hold their head, sit without support, take their first steps or say their first words, you’ll also be surprised and will cheer when they are able to kick a ball, and maybe even score a goal!

Children are capable of kicking a ball when they’re around two years old. Even if it seems to be an effortless action, kicking is actually a complex and basic skill that children master as they grow, and it is an important physical and motor milestone. To achieve it, your child must have gone through a process where their acquired several skills that allowed them to control their body. In this article, we will talk about how this skill is developed.

Everything begins when your child is a baby. Although they can’t walk or even stand up by themselves, their legs will start to strengthen. At two months, they’ll kick as an involuntary reflex. Then, between 3 and 4 months old, you’ll notice they kick toys and objects near their feet intentionally. Also, their strength will have increased allowing them to bounce if you hold them upright.

Throughout the months, their legs and muscles will continue to get stronger. Your baby will be capable of standing up, take their first steps, and, before you know it, they’ll be walking without any help! At the beginning, their steps will seem uncoordinated, but little by little they’ll perfect the technique and walk with more confidence.


Once they master the skill of walking, they’ll learn how to kick a ball. This happens around 14 and 15 months of age. When that moments arrives, you can play with your little one by putting a ball near their feet so they can practice kicking it. It will be an exciting game! Maybe at first, you’ll need to hold them upright to avoid falling down. However, after a few weeks, you’ll see they will be doing it by themselves.

Months later, around 18 months of age, your child will perfect their ability to kick. Now, they’ll be able to run towards a ball and kick it. This activity will be very fun, and you can use it to play with other family members or friends. Put a ball on the floor and ask your child to run towards it and kick it, as if they were doing a penalty in soccer. After they turn two, by their 26th month, they’ll be able to kick a moving ball and participate in more active games.

Even if they master this skill, they’ll continue perfecting it! Soon, your child will be able to kick a ball towards a specific direction. You’ll see that, if there are objects near them, they’ll knock them down by directing the ball towards them, no matter if they’re at their right, left, or in front of them. This usually happens at 2 and half years old, and, even though they’re still young, if they really enjoy it, they’ll be able to participate in a soccer match with their peers.

If you prefer doing other kinds of activities, you can practice kicking balloons or play bowling by knocking things down with a ball. Your child’s development, aside from being a gradual process, will be very exciting! Your little one won’t just learn to kick a ball, they’ll also practice other skills that involve balls, such as running, jumping, catching, and throwing.

Remember that each kid develops at their own pace and that it doesn’t matter if your child acquires the skill of kicking before or after the months we mentioned. What’s important is that they reach this milestone and that you’re there to cheer them up and celebrate their accomplishments!

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2 Responses

    1. Hello Nargiza! Of course, they do! We randomly choose a gender for each of our articles. You’ll see that in other articles we use “she”, but it applies to both genders =)

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