Saturday, May 25, 2013

Play Ball!

Way back around November or December I found a weighted exercise ball on clearance at Wal-Mart. I was excited for several reasons. One being that it was weighted. That meant no out of control bouncing of the ball around our house. Second I was there to buy one anyway,
so to find a weighted one on sale was icing on the cake! I think I paid about eight dollars, it had obvious damage to the box, but all the parts were inside, and I think they just weren't stocking it anymore.


Anyway, this ball gets some major use in our house. All of the kids use it. They do the usual sitting and bouncing, but they also surf off of it, and use it as a chair during frustrating school assignments. I have sat on it many times bouncing a fussy Kitty Kat, sometimes nursing at the same time, even putting her to sleep that way on occasion. I have also just bounced on it when I'm feeling stressed, or to read to the kids, and many other times. Zak can balance on the ball on his knees and hands and nothing touching the floor. And Kit LOVES for me to bounce her on it like a trampoline. She loves both sit bounces with me holding her under her arms, and to stand on it while I hold her hands and wrists, then she jumps while I brace it between my knees. She has yet to do this to the point that she signs "all done". Usually, my arms give out, and I simply just can't do it any more. Which of course makes her very upset.

The obvious point is that this ball is very well loved and a huge staple in our daily sensory activities. But even if your kids don't have special sensory needs, these balls are just super fun!

Below is a video that shows how they can be used to help regulate those with extra proprioceptive needs. We have done all of these except have the kids bounce the ball against a wall. Zak loves it when we roll it over him and even lay on the ball to apply extra pressure as long as he is laying on a few pillows. He only likes it when he lays on his stomach and we roll it along his legs and back and arms, not to laying on his back. I plan to have them do more exercises that involve prone extensions, like when they are swatting at the balloon in the video. We have another ball with a handle to hold while they bounce that I just haven't blown up yet, but I think it's time.

It's starting to get hotter outside, and our summertime humidity hibernation is about to start. I need lots of activities that can help keep them busy, regulated, and active when it's just too hot to play outside.

Hope everyone has a fun weekend!


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