FAQ

Why is my child throwing things?


Determine why he’s throwing:

  • Does he throw the toy/object out of frustration?

If so, take a deep breath and pick up the toy/object and say “this is not for throwing” “it’s for …..” and model how he can play with it if it’s a toy, and how it’s used if it’s an object. If throwing persists tell him “this is not for throwing” it’s for…..and put the toy/object away out of his reach.

  • Does he throw when he’s mad?

If you believe he threw something because he’s mad, Ignore the act. Take a deep breath and say “ I know you feel mad now” “it’s ok to feel mad because….“ that is not for throwing”. Give him a soft toy he can squeeze and throw in a basket. When he is calm Direct him to get the toy/object from where it is thrown, tell him again “this is not for throwing” and put it away out of his reach. You could designate a plush toy as “I feel mad throwing a toy.”


  • Does he throw to get your attention?

If you believe he threw something to get your attention, Ignore the act. Take a deep breath and say “you want Mommy’s/Daddy’s attention” “that is not for throwing”. Direct him to get the toy/object from where it is thrown, tell him again “this is not for throwing” and put it away out of his reach, and attend to his need...


Teach functional and appropriate throwing skills

Ideas for at-home practice:

  • Stack up paper cups and give him a rolled-up sock to try to knock them down

  • Build a block tower and give him a soft squishy ball or a rolled-up sock to throw and knock it down.

  • Gather his small stuffed animals, balls, bean bags in one corner of the room and place a basket a couple of feet away. Help him throw each in the basket. Name each toy as he throws it in. e.g. “bear throw-in.”

  • Help him throw his dirty clothes one by one into the washer. Name each piece of clothing as he throws it in. e.g. “sock throw-in.”