Why Do Babies and Toddlers Throw Things on the Floor?

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Do you ever wonder why babies and toddlers throw things on the floor? It can be quite frustrating for parents when their child is constantly throwing toys, food, and other objects on the ground. While it can be difficult to understand why this behavior occurs, there are a few reasons why babies and toddlers might do this.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common reasons why children throw things on the floor and offer tips for how parents can deal with this behavior.

a toddler sits in a high chair vs a weaning table

Why do babies throw things on the floor?

Babies and toddlers throw their toys on the floor for various reasons. However, there are two main reasons they do this: the first is that they are trying to learn about cause and effect.

Babies and toddlers are exploring the world and trying to understand how things work. When they throw something on the floor, they want to see what happens. They might wonder why the object falls instead of up or makes a noise when it hits something else.

The second reason babies and toddlers throw things on the floor is that they are frustrated with an activity or toy that does not work in the way that they expect it to work.

Children are still learning how to regulate their emotions, so they might throw a toy on the floor if they are angry, frustrated, or bored.

If you are wondering why your baby or toddler is throwing things on the floor, it is important to try and understand what they might be trying to communicate. Keep in mind that every child is different and will exhibit different behaviors.

When do babies start throwing things?

Babies start throwing things on the floor at around 12 months of age. This is when they are just beginning to develop a sense of object permanence which means that they understand that an object continues to exist even if it cannot be seen.

Before this time, babies and toddlers do not realize why something falls instead of up or why something makes a noise when it hits something else.

By around 18 months of age, children are starting to develop more control over their muscles and coordination, which is why they might be able to throw things further distances than before.

It is also possible that your child will start throwing objects to communicate with you or as a way to explore the trajectory schema.

What is the trajectory schema of play?

The trajectory schema of play is a way in which children explore the world around them.

Trajectory refers to how an object moves through space, and children are curious about why objects move in different ways. They might throw something or drop it down the stairs to see what happens when they interact with gravity.

Children also like to experiment with how far they can throw things and why some objects are heavier than others.

How to stop your child from throwing toys on the floor?

There are several ways parents can help their children learn why it is not okay to throw things on the floor. The first thing you should do when your child throws something is to remind them with words why this behavior is unacceptable.

You can say things like, “We do not throw toys on the floor because they might break.” Then you could offer something softer, like foam balls, for them to throw and show them where it is safe for them to throw.

Also, it's important to begin to teach them that there is a time and place for throwing. For example, throwing a toy at you is not OK. Throwing a softball around to play is OK.

Understanding when and where they can throw will take a little while. So remain calm when they inevitably continue to throw things.

You might also want to try and identify why your child is throwing things on the floor in the first place. If they are doing it because they are frustrated with a toy, you could try and find a different toy that is more suitable for their age or ability level.

If you notice they are doing it because they are looking for your reaction or think it's fun, then they may be really just trying to explore this idea of cause and effect.

So why do babies throw things on the floor? Because they are learning!

Another place you typically see babies and toddlers throwing food is their high chair. Again, when they drop food on the floor or throw food, they are experimenting with cause and effect. Not only are they throwing food to see what happens, but they are also doing it to see how you react.

When you get upset (or laugh) at your toddler throwing food, that is again showing them cause (throwing food) and effect (mom is paying attention to me). Again, a toddler throwing food is simply exploring cause and effect. This is a new skill for them! It will probably take some time for them to stop throwing food.

If you find they tend to throw food more than they are finished eating, then when they start throwing, just scoop up their plate and say, “Oh, we can't throw food. I see you're all done. Let me take that plate!”

Here are some simple cause-and-effect games for babies.

Babies and toddlers enjoy exploring their world and figuring out how things work. Throwing things is a natural way for them to learn about their surroundings. When something is within reach, they’ll instinctively try to grab it and see what happens. If it moves or makes noise, all the better!

You can help encourage this exploration by allowing them to play with toys like softballs, stacking cups, and simple puzzles. These will give them something to grab onto and explore without causing too much damage.

When your baby is throwing things around, it’s best to stay calm and provide a safe place for them to do so. Remember that children learn through doing so while they're exploring this concept of cause and effect might make things messy. They are doing important work!

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Why do toddlers throw things instead of playing?

There can be many reasons a toddler might choose to throw things instead of playing with them. Maybe they’re not interested in that particular toy, or they don’t know how to play with it. If they see something they want but can’t reach, they may grab whatever is closest to get it closer to themselves.

It's also important to remember that toddlers are very often throwing things because that is part of HOW they are playing. The trajectory play schema is a developmental milestone usually happens around 18-24 months.

This is when children start to figure out how things move and why. They begin to understand that they can make things happen by throwing or pushing them. So again, it's good to provide them with toys they CAN throw instead of constantly trying to stop them.

Why do toddlers throw things when angry?

Toddlers don't have the same kind of impulse control that we do. They can feel overwhelmed and frustrated when they're unable to express themselves or achieve their desired goal, so sometimes throwing things is an easy way for them to let off some steam.

This doesn't mean you should ignore your toddler's tantrums – it's important to listen to them and help them calm down. Toddlers are typically not great at regulating their emotions with the help of an adult.

So try to practice co-regulation. Co-regulation is when the adult provides support to the child to help them calm down. This might mean physically comforting them, verbally reassuring them, or helping them find an activity that will soothe them.

It's also important to remember that throwing things is a way for toddlers to communicate. If they're doing it consistently, there may be something else that is causing them frustration.

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Why do toddlers throw things out of the crib?

Most toddlers think throwing things out of the crib is fun. It's a way to get your parents' attention and see what will happen.

Plus, it's a great way to test limits! Keep in mind that testing limits are what toddlers are built to do!

If your toddler is throwing things out of the crib, there are a couple of things you can do. You can try moving their crib closer to the door or window so they have less room to toss things. You can also try putting their toys in a container they can't reach or put away at night when it's time for bed.

What should you do when your toddler starts throwing things?

  • Stay calm and provide a safe place for them to do so.
  • Remember that children learn through doing, so while exploring this concept of cause and effect might make things messy, they are doing important work!
  • Make sure you give them plenty of opportunities to explore with age-appropriate toys. This
  • Keep an eye on them while they play to ensure they're staying safe.
woman, mother, child-2566854.jpg

How do I stop my toddler from throwing things at me?

First, it's important to stay calm. If you're throwing a tantrum, why would your toddler want to stop?

Next, keep in mind that toddlers are mimics. This means they often act how their caretakers act – so if you throw things when you get angry or frustrated (even just small items like pencils or paper), they're going to think it's okay to do the same.

If you see your toddler throwing things, remain calm. After they've calmed down, talk to them about why they threw things and how that made you feel. Help them understand why it's not okay to throw things at people.

Lastly, provide them with appropriate ways to express their anger and frustration. This might mean giving them a safe place to do so (like a room they can't leave or a box they can scream into), providing them with different types of toys that allow for throwing (like balls or beanbags), or helping them to verbalize their feelings.

The most important thing to remember about why babies and toddlers throw things on the floor (and do other crazy things!) is because they are children. Children are just beginning to learn about the world around them, and they are exploring. It's our job as parents or caretakers to help them learn safely, make sure they're staying safe, and provide appropriate outlets for their emotions–even the difficult emotions!

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