5 Core Strengthening Games Using a Therapy Ball

Core strength is an important underlying skill essential for both fine and gross motor tasks. The core consists of the abdominal muscles, as well as the muscles that run down the neck and back.  A strong core leads to improved posture which allows children to sit upright and have increased endurance for school-based work. It also provides a stable base to then be able to use the arms and hands with control for activities such as writing and cutting with scissors.

Core strengthening games:

One of our most popular items at the clinic is our peanut therapy ball (We order ours from HART Sports

  • Plank Pick-Up
    • Ask your child to lay on their stomach on the therapy ball.
    • Place motivating items out in front of them (toys, puzzle pieces etc.).
    • Ask them to walk out on their hands to collect the items.
    • The further you place the items away, the greater the challenge.
  • High Five Crunches
    • Ask your child to sit on the therapy ball.
    • Ask them to lean back, extending their arms overhead.
    • Then, get them to crunch back up and give you a high five as they return to the sitting position.
    • Aim to do 10 repetitions.
  • Bridges
    • Ask you child to sit on the therapy ball.
    • Ask them to slowly walk out their feet until they are lying with just their shoulders and neck on the ball.
    • Get them to raise their bottom so that their body is in a straight line from their head to their knees.
    • Slowly walk the feet back in to return to the sitting position.
    • Aim to do 10 repetitions.
  • Power Kicks
    • Ask you child to sit on the ground and lean back until they are propped up on their forearms.
    • Ask them to raise both feet off the ground into a table top position (knees bent at 90 degrees).
    • Roll the therapy ball towards them and get them to kick it back. They can kick one leg at a time or both together.
    • Aim to do 10 repetitions without letting their feet touch the ground in between turns.
  • Ball Explosions
    • Ask your child to lie on their stomach, lifting their arms and legs off the ground (superman position).
    • Roll the ball towards them and ask them to push it back using both their hands together.
    • Aim to do 10 repetitions without letting their arms and legs touch the ground in between turns.

-Kate Kleinau, Occupational Therapist

kate headshot

Please feel free to ask questions or give me your feedback.

 


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