As a pediatric physical therapist, I often work with kids on developing ball skills. From catching to throwing to kicking to bouncing, we work on all of it! And, to keep things interesting, I like to make sure I have a variety of different balls on hand. Here are some of my favorites!
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Phlat Ball || This was one of the first balls I purchased when I started my pediatric physical therapy practice. It starts as a disc when it is thrown and you catch it as a ball. Cool, right? Major hand-eye coordination required to catch this sucker! I like to change it up by having kids practice standing on one foot by placing one foot on top of the ball and then, at the count of five, stepping down to flatten the ball to a disc — motivation and instant gratification!
Toysmith Flashing Spiky Ball || Squeeze them, bounce them, roll them or just feel them! These spiky balls are fun to touch and they even light up! We like to try to toss them back and forth and see how many times we can do it before the light goes off! What will you come up with?
Hearthsong GBOP Inflatable Ball || UMMMM, can we get this in an adult size, please? This ball is just plain fun for racing, running, or rolling. Enough said!
Sports Time Hands-On Training Basketball || This ball was part of our 10 Days to Shooting a Basket post a few weeks ago. It is a wonderful way to teach a new ball player the placement of her hands in order to achieve the perfect shot! It works for both left and right handed kids and an activity guide is included!
Tachikara Soft Kick Fabric Soccer Ball Kick Ball || A super soft kickball that is perfect for preschoolers and kids who are just learning how to do headers and body pass skills in soccer.
Ogo Sport Flux Ball || We love OgoSport products and we use them quite a bit during therapy sessions. This ball is a favorite among my patients. It is unpredictably bouncy and elicits a lot of giggling with its personality! By changing up the position of the tails, you can change the speed and direction of the ball’s bounce. It is typically used with a set of OgoDisks, but we find that it is just as fun on its own!
Ogo Sport Soft Balls || Colorful, soft, and light, the OgoSoft ball is perfect for a variety of active play both indoors and out! Kids will love it because of its elastic, springy feel. It’s perfect for play that won’t hurt even the tiniest of tots.
Mikasa Squish No-Sting Pillow Cover Volleyball || My daughter LOVES to play volleyball but HATES the “stingy” arms that go along with learning the sport. Enter this amazing volleyball by Mikasa. The fabric cover minimizes the ouch and it’s even waterproof, making it another perfect choice for our round-up of awesome balls for kids!
Hopper Ball || Besides being a big ball of fun, the Hopper Ball comes in sizes that are appropriate for kids ages 3-13+. WHAT?!?! Crazy fun for teens, too? This is a modern day Hippity Hop that will encourage vestibular input and requires a ton of core strength to stay on while racing across the yard with friends.
Design Your Own Soccer Ball Kit || What kiddo wouldn’t love the experience of creating their own unique soccer ball to take to practice or to practice their kicking skills around the yard? What a cool gift, too!!
Edushape Sensory Ball || Babies need lots of sensory experiences when they are working on their tummy time or just learning to sit. These balls are perfect for providing tactile and visual input while being durable, colorful and just the right size for your little one!
Sportime SloMo Balls || These balls are a favorite tool of pediatric therapists because they are easy to grip and throw and they don’t hurt if you get hit by one! The slight texture on the surface provides great sensory input as well. They come in some lots of colors and can inflate to a diameter of 7.5” to 10”.
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