Often times when doing a gross motor activity you might have not have group of people to do it with. I thought I would show some single person activities you can do with a ball to match up with the Gross Motor Movements with Balls.
Before we start any activity with balls in the house we set up rules of what can and can’t be done.I suggest you do this as well.
Our Ball Rules
- Rolling the ball only – this means no throwing
- Make she you have a good grip on the ball
- No hitting others with the ball
- Always have at least an arm length between you and someone else
When doing these activities remember that mixing up the size of the ball changes the activity. We use different sizes of balls from baseball size, wiffle ball and sensory balls with pokes that come out of them. This gives them variety in sizes.
Passing Ball Between Legs
This a simple activity that you can do with the kids. They spread their legs wider than shoulder width and lean down so they can move the ball around easy with their hands. They take the ball around the outside of the pass the ball off to the other hands in the middle of the legs.
- The right hands takes the ball around the outside of the front of the right leg and brings it around the leg back into the center.
- Pass the ball off to the left side
- The left hands takes the ball and repeats going the same motion and movements as the right side.
It is important to remember to change directions after you have done a few repetitions of the activity. Try and remember how many times they have done the movement or have them count how many times they do it. This can be done by counting how many times they circle each leg or both legs.
When they change direction your need to remember that the ball will go around the back of the legs first. Another change to this is to change the texture and size of the ball. Remember that any change you make to the balls makes them think a little more. A smaller ball is easier to do than a bigger ball for this activity. If you child can take the challenge try a slightly weighted ball for this activity for the sensory seeking child. We have also used tuna or soup cans for our slightly weighted item to pass.
Up and Down Movement
In this ball movement activity you raise the ball with straight arms above your head and bend at the waist and touch your toes with the ball. Then return the ball back above your head. Trying to keep your back flat up and down if you can.
For this activity change up the size of the ball every few times. This gives them a challenge. You can also try putting a small ball in each hand for the activity or a ball in just one hand and keep the hands doing the same movement. You can mix this up and use a soft pillow or toy to give them something different. Another change would be to have their feet slightly wider than shoulders and do the same movement. You could also give them a different ball at their feet and have them change balls when they touch their feet.
Wind Mills One Hand & Two Hand
Wind Mills are a great way to bring in cross body gross motor movement. We did this activity two different ways: one hand and two hands.
We started with two hands and their feet slightly wider than their shoulder width and the ball starts in two hands above the head. They take the ball from above their head to the right foot. They go back to start position with the ball over their head and repeat on the left foot.
You start with the ball in the right hand and their feet slightly wider than their shoulders. They take the ball in the right hand to the left foot which is the opposite side the ball started at. Then take the ball back to start and switch to the left hand. This time taking the ball in the left hand to the right foot.
After you have finished either sets have them repeat without a ball the same pattern.
Passing the Ball Around the Body
This is a simple activity of passing the ball around your own body. You start with the ball in your right hand and take the ball around your right side to behind your back and pass the ball to the left hand. The left hand brings the ball around to the front to exchange with the ball to the right hand and start over. We count to ten and change directions on this activity. It is always important to do the same repetitions on an activity like this to keep muscle development the same.
To change it up we do it while walking around the room or in a circle. They circle the ball around 10 time and change direction of the ball and the direction in the circle.
This is an easy movement to do that gets kids thinking. They can’t see the exchange of the ball behind their back. They have to think and feel.
Other ways to do add movement to this activity:
- Change movement to fast or slow
- Walk in on a Tape Line
- Walk in Shape: circle, square, triangle, oval etc.
- March in place
- March backwards
- Walk Backwards
- Change size or texture of ball
- Use a small weighted ball standing in place
The best part about what I like about these activities is that they don’t require that anyone else does with with the child. I love to join in with the activities and have fun with them. This allows me to do the activity with a light medicine ball while they have their sensory ball or other types of balls. I get some fitness in while they do their gross motor.
What ball gross motor activities do you like to do?
Looking for other gross motor ideas, check these ones out:
- Gross Motor Movements with Balls
- Gross Motor: Masking Tape Challenge
- Gross Motor: Measuring the Lines