Using a Water Gun to Propel a Ball

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I had recently used water guns to fill up a cup with water and make a ping pong ball rise. I was trying to think of other activities that use water guns because they can really work on hand strengthening. I had the guns, and I had the balls, so I had a group of kids that I work with try propelling the balls by squirting the water jet at them. It worked wonderfully and targeted both gross and fine motor skills.

shooting water at a ball

You have to squirt the gun so that the trajectory of the water hits the ball in the right place to propel it forward. Squeezing the gun targets hand strength, while trying to get the water to hit the ball works on visual motor skills. Most of the kids were squatting to get closer to the balls, so that is a skill that can be worked on if needed. If the client is working on walking or standing this is a fun game to play while standing.

aiming at the ball

It is definitely an outside activity though, and you need a fairly flat, paved surface to play on. We were on a handball court and were shooting the balls toward the wall. It does require a certain amount of strength to squeeze the trigger of the water gun.


  • Water guns
  • Light balls (ping pong, wiffle, practice golf balls)
  • Water


  • Hand strengthening
  • Visual motor
  • Standing
  • Squatting

Looking to find printable activities? You can find them in the community shop

shop at therapy fun store

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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