8 Ways Kids Can Blow Off Steam Inside with an Exercise Ball

Dec 23, 2016

While we primarily use the exercise ball for therapeutic purposes around here for my son with autism and sensory issues, we also like to use the exercise ball to burn off pent-up energy when the weather isn't cooperating. So if you need a quick gross motor boredom buster or two, then grab an exercise ball and give one of these ideas a try!

Fly Like Superman Balancing Activity

A child balancing on the top of the ball on his tummy

Get your child to lay on their stomach on top of the exercise ball. Then hold their hands and help them fly just like a super hero. This activity works on core strength and balance.

Big Ball Drumming Activity

A child using two wooden sticks to drum on the ball

For this activity, you will need a large box, bucket, or even a laundry basket to hold the exercise ball. You will also need two large sticks or wooden spoons. Place the ball inside the container and then start drumming with the spoons! You might be surprised how much energy your kids will burn while drumming on a big drum like this.

"Ice Cream" Basketball Game

A child throwing the ball into a basket

Every time we do this activity, my youngest son always says it looks like an ice cream cone — hence why I call it ice cream basketball. You'll need a large bucket, box, or laundry basket again, as well as a large open space. Be sure to leave yourself lots of room so that nothing gets broken! Get your kids to toss, shoot, or even carry the ball to the basket to make an ice cream cone.

Every time my youngest scores a basket, he likes to pick up the bucket while the ball is still sitting on top and carry the whole "ice cream." Lots of heavy lifting is involved in this activity, which is a great way to tire out the kids!

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Bounce Passing Game

Take turns bounce-passing the ball back and forth with another person. Gradually increase the distance between you and your partner, and try seeing how many times the ball can bounce before it reaches the other person.

Balancing Catch Game

A child sitting on top of the ball and trying to balance

For this game, you will need the exercise ball and something soft and small to throw, like a stuffed animal or a pair of socks rolled up. Encourage your kid to sit and balance on the exercise ball while throwing the soft toy back and forth with you.

Rolling Game

Just like the bounce passing game, except instead of bouncing the ball back and forth, try rolling it along the floor. Gradually increase the distance between you and your partner to see how far you can roll the ball back and forth.

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Bulldozing Body Activity

This activity is a great therapeutic idea that we like to use with my oldest son as it provides lots of deep pressure and proprioceptive sensory input. Have your child lay down on their back on the floor or on a gym mat. Then roll the ball along their body, starting at their ankles, up to their chest and back down.

If you have multiple children, have them line up beside each other on the floor. Then roll the ball across their torsos and back instead of doing each child individually from feet to chest.

Uphill Ball Rolling Activity

A child rolling the ball up a small flight of stairs

For this activity, you will need a small set of stairs or a small ramp made out of wood. Encourage your child to roll the ball up the ramp. It's a great workout!

Article Author Dyan Robson
Dyan Robson

Read more from Dyan here.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano out of her home. On her blog And Next Comes L, Dyan shares her story of raising a child with hyperlexia, hypernumeracy and autism, amongst a variety of sensory activities for kids. You can find out more about their story on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.