OT Activity of the Day
Therapy (ab) Ball as a chair
Target Age Range: 5 and up, though depending on the size of the ball, this age can be younger.
While ab balls are great for exercise, they are also excellent alternatives to chairs. There have been several news articles in more recent months and years talking about how some schools, or classrooms, have shifted entirely over to sitting on therapy balls versus chairs. After a super quick internet search, I found these two articles, though there were many more out there:
Both of these articles highlight these two principles:
1. Sitting on a therapy ball allows the child movement/input throughout the day, which in turn will help them stay focused for longer periods of time.
2. Sitting on a therapy ball will help naturally improve posture and trunk stability.
Swap the therapy ball for a chair during homework time and you should see positive results in your child's attention and focus! I bought my therapy (ab) ball for 25 dollars at Target. I bought the medium size because I will be using it mostly with elementary school children. If you have a younger child you would like to use the ball with, make sure to get the smaller size.
My ground rules for using a ball over a chair are 1. always keep two feet flat on the ground and 2. while you may bounce, your tush must stay on the ball, we should not be bouncing so high we fall off. Give your child a few minutes (supervised) to explore and play with the idea/concept before holding them to the rules. I find this approach tends to work best versus setting the rules right away before the child has fully explored this new idea.