Activities you can do with a Physio ball or Exercise Ball with your kids and maybe even for yourselfBy: Evelynn Bansil, PT Do you often see your friendly therapist working with a big ball with your kid? Maybe you see it like they are just playing and your kids think they are playing. Exercise balls are simple, easy and cheap equipment for you and your kids. These can help build muscles, improve endurance, posture, motor planning, coordination, balance and body awareness. Here are some activities that might help you work with that ball in room.
1. Sit on an exercises ball while doing homework or office work at your desk. This will help improve your posture, decrease back pain (for adults), and improve body awareness in space. Make sure you have the right size of ball though! A good size ball is if you sit on it, your hips are parallel to the floor and your feet are flat on the floor.
2. Modified sit-ups. Lay your kid on her back while holding her lower body to reach for toys then coming back up placing it on a bucket. It’s fun and this position also improves your child’s body awareness and vestibular processing.
3. Hand walk on a ball. Start by lying down on the ball on your stomach then place hands down on the floor and roll forward slowly until only your lower legs are on the ball. You can ask you kid to get a toy or a puzzle and put it together while doing this activity. This exercises will improve your core muscles, improve postural control, increase arm strength and balance.
4. Superman! Who does like Superman? Hold the ball if it’s too big for your kid, lay down on stomach and raise both arms and legs at the same time of the floor. If the ball if just the right size for your kid, (or for you), you can do an alternate extension of leg and arm. For example, raise right arm and left leg at the same time while the left arm and right leg are on the floor. This activity will improve vestibular processing, trunk extensors, arms and leg endurance and core stability.
There are more fun things you can do with the exercise ball, just be creative and enjoy it!