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Seated Balloon Volleyball

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I have been working in skilled nursing this summer, and it is very different from the therapy that I do with kids. There are some things that transcend age groups though and that people want to have fun. What is fun for a child is not necessarily fun for an adult, so I have to search for the adult fun and motivation. For some adults, just exercise itself is motivation and fun, but others are not intrinsically motivated by exercise.

seated balloon volleyball 1

One activity that I find is fun for every age group is balloon volleyball. This game can be played in so many different settings and with so many different ability levels, and it is a good exercise. It can be easily graded to work on multiple skills, such as standing balance, sitting balance, and upper extremity strength with over head reaching.

seated balloon volleyball 2

I love balloon volleyball because it can be done either standing or sitting in a chair. You can work on reaching down to the ground when the balloon is missed too.

seated balloon volleyball 3

I have also done this with a beach ball, but I think that a balloon is more fun because of the random movements of the balloon when you hit it. You can also incorporate a pool noodle bat into the game to change the level of difficulty.

balloon volleyball

Materials:

  • Balloon

Skills:

  • Sitting balance
  • Standing balance
  • Visual motor
  • Upper extremity strength
  • Endurance

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.
2 replies
  1. Bobbie Vergo
    Bobbie Vergo says:

    I work in SNF and with kids, too, and it is an interesting experience to have to think in those two different realms of motivation and interest! I got excited when I saw you post this! Balloon volleyball is one of the staples in SNF, that’s for sure, and I’ve just started using it with my kids as a precursor to ball skills (since the balloon comes more slowly, more time for motor planning/visual motor skills). I have one boy sit on a therapy ball for this activity to work on balance, core strength, and posture. If I had wrist weights, I’d certainly go that route, too! Additionally, I’ve seen this made into a game to increase social skills and emotional awareness by writing things on the balloon or volleyball and having the child answer questions or describe a feeling written on the balloon. 🙂

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