My 18ish month old baby loves to throw. She has several balls that she likes to toss around with me and her coordination with throwing is getting quite good. The problem is that she likes to throw other things too.

While I have gotten her to stop all out chucking things across the room, she still tosses them down onto the floor. She never does it out of anger. It's usually when she has completed a task with something for example, when she is done drinking her water, she tosses the mug onto the ground rather nonchalantly.

The same thing occurs with toys, when she has completed playing with a toy, she tosses it away. I have zero problem with her placing anything on the ground. She's rather good at helping mama and I clean up before she goes to bed, however I do mind the tossing.

Has anyone had any success or does anyone know a method to practice that will teach her to place things rather than throw? And also, does anyone know anyway that this could carry over between things she shouldn't throw (i.e. her mug) and things that are intended to be thrown (i.e. a ball)?

3 Answers 3


My immediate thought is that she is still very young - she is only just discovering her abilities, and being able to change one's surroundings gives great satisfaction. At 18 months, I would not expect her to be mentally able to understand the difference between things that are meant to be thrown and things that are not meant to be thrown. For now, you can chuckle and say you've got a barbarian on your hands (throwing an emptied mug is very barbaric - in an epic-movie sense of the word).

Realistically though, you should continue to explain to her whether the object she just threw was meant to be thrown. Eventually she will understand it (but even then she might not feel like following that wisdom).

As she develops even more skills, the attraction of throwing things (even those meant to be thrown) will probably diminish.

  • 1
    Most people I know would disagree with this from their own experience. If you take something away once thrown very young toddlers are pefectly capable of learning, for example, that if dinner ends when something is thrown then the high chair is not a place for throwing.
    – justkt
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 16:21

At 18 months she can understand that it is not alright to throw things, but only if you're consistent. If throwing is not allowed in the house then it is not allowed in the house, no exceptions. If it is allowed in the house then you'll have to accept that you've given approval for broad categories of objects to be thrown since her categorization skills are only broad at best.

If you consistently disallow this behavior and use appropriate consequences for her actions you can suppress the behavior, I've worked with many families on this and similar behaviors and the key is, as I said, consistency. Both across environments and caregivers.


My son is almost 17 months old, and he is at the same stage. As others are saying this is something that, at least in my experience, just has to be learned with time and gentle encouragement. My son has gotten a lot better about throwing his cup when he's done drinking. Now he tries putting it down on the table or on his tray or in a cup holder.

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