I love using bouncy balls in therapy, and use the small balls for in-hand manipulation as well as catching them in cups when they roll off of the table. I use the balls in cups when I evaluate a child as it gives me a good idea of the student’s motor coordination as well as motor speed when trying to catch the balls. I have also used them to balance on golf tees to work on fine motor skills.
I will sometimes have students bounce the balls on the table and try to catch them in a cup. This can get very difficult when using the small bouncy balls, so I went and got some racquetballs to use for bouncing and catching. We bounce them on the ground with one hand, and catch them with the other hand then transfer back to the first hand. I have the kids start with one ball and work up to two balls.
I started doing this because I had a student who needed to work on typing. When you are typing you have both of your hands working, and they get into a type of a rhythm with the two sides of your brain controlling your speed and activity. I wanted the student to work on letting his brain and body get into a rhythm. Kind of like getting into the zone. So far, I like working with the racquet balls and it helps work on motor speed and coordination as well as working with crossing midline and using both sides of your brain at the same time.
- fine motor
- crossing midline
- motor coordination
- motor speed