This post will explore fun activities for children using the Peanut Ball! The Peanut Ball is a great piece of equipment that comes in a range of sizes to suit each child’s unique size & therapeutic needs! It is a great dynamic sitting option, providing a bit more stability than a standard exercise ball. Encouraging weight bearing through lower extremities, while leaving the upper body free to engage in crossing midline, reaching and manipulating objects. The peanut ball can be used to promote developmental positions such as prone propping, quadruped, even sidelying. It is also a fun tool to incorporate in dynamic balance challenges for older children!
1. Sitting Strength
We use the Peanut Ball as an alternative sitting option to address trunk strength & stability as well as postural awareness and alignment. Note in straddle sit the child is able to maintain feet flat with hips, knees & ankles at approximately 90 degree angles, which is optimal for active sitting. Pictured above, the child is able to engage abdominal & back musculature while interacting with toy placed on top of cube chair.
We can change the size of the peanut ball to facilitate proper positioning for each child. Here we utilize the peanut ball to promote posture and encourage activation of trunk musculature as child uses pull tubes to engage upper body strength & stability.
2. Prone Extension
Prone over the peanut ball is a wonderful way to encourage shoulder stability and strength as the child pushes up off the surface using upper extremities as well as trunk musculature. Note the extension of the head & neck as well!
We can use the peanut ball to promote quadruped positioning (weight bearing through hands and knees). Quadruped position is extremely beneficial for many developmental skills. Read more about the benefits of quadruped in this informative post by Inspired Treehouse!
4. Peanut Ball Bridge
Utilizing the peanut ball as a dynamic support during bridging exercise is a fantastic way to challenge lower extremity & trunk musculature. We also promote full weight bearing through feet, which is especially great for children who present with toe walking providing additional proprioceptive input through lower extremity joints!
5. Dynamic Sit to Stand
The peanut ball is a wonderful dynamic surface to practice sit to stand transition. We start with child side sitting on peanut ball. We can use visual cues on floor for foot placement like these tactile footprints. The peanut ball encourages child to begin transition by engaging trunk musculature before weight bearing through legs to rise into standing, promoting proper biomechanics, weight shifting and motor planning.
We hope you enjoyed our Five Fun Activities with the Peanut Ball! For more activity ideas check out Five Fun Activities with Dyna Discs!
Learn more about Dinosaur Physical Therapy!