Playing with a ball with your baby or toddler helps her to practice many important skills. A simple beach ball or soft plush ball works well for this activity. Sit across from her and play a rolling catch game. By rolling the ball back and forth, your very young child starts to develop an understanding of the back and forth and the turn taking that is important in language development and socializing. Engaging in conversation requires the ability to wait for and take a turn which mimics the game of catch. This turn taking is also the beginning of sharing (a social skill that emerges after the age of 3). Rolling the ball toward someone and receiving it back from that person while having fun is an experience akin to the give and take of a rewarding dialogue.