The stability ball is a simple and easy piece of equipment to work into everyday exercise for your child, ranging from infant to teenager. Stability balls can be bought at most sports stores, cost only about 20 dollars, and last for years.
Below are some fun activities to follow along with your kiddos to see improvements in core strength, posture, and shoulder stability:
- Simply sitting your 2+ month old infant in supported sitting on the stability ball will help his posture.
- Placing your 2-8 month old on their tummy on the ball. This is a bit more challenging then pure tummy time as they have to push up through their arms on a cushy surface, helping build strong back and shoulder muscles.
- At 4+ months, you can lean the ball/baby to the left side and watch your infant “right” their body up toward the middle. Practice to both sides. This will help their muscles on the sides of their trunk that are important for crawling.
Age: 1 year-5 years
- Bouncing your child up and down gently on a ball will help both their core strength and vestibular system.
- Bouncing the ball back and forth by lifting it above your head while keeping your and your child’s tummy muscles tight helps build great core and shoulder strength.
- 3+ years, have your child practice dribbling the ball for increased hand-eye coordination and motor planning.
Age: 5 years +
- Sit-ups:With either
- your child’s hips and knees at a 90 degree angle from each other or
- holding your child’s feet down, practice crunches to build abdominal strength.
- Push-ups: With feet on floor and child in a plank position, they can practice push-ups with their hands on the ball. An adult may need to hold the ball stable so it doesn’t move.
- Practicing chest passes (like in basketball) is great for chest strength, motor planning and overall stability.