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Using a Water Gun to Propel a Ball

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Water guns are a great finger strengthening tool, and when it gets hot, water is a welcome part of therapy. I had 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. I used practice wiffle type golf balls so they are light and move easily.

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 we incorporated some gross motor movement as well. If the student needs to work on walking or standing this is a fun game to play while standing.

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 For More? Try these categories


Fine Motor

Visual Perceptual


Motor Planning

Oral Motor

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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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