Sensory Activity: Pit Ball Wading Pool

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This is one of Bear's absolute favorite sensory diet activities. I only get it out every couple of weeks months because, well, that's about how long it takes to find all the balls under the furniture.

I wanted to share this one for several reasons:
- it's cheap
- it's easy
- it's versatile
- it's fun

Blow up wading pool (we got this one for $5 on clearance)
Pit balls. Lots and lots of pit balls (about $10 for bag of 100 - he got 4 bags for his birthday)
Pile of random blankets (to soften the landing zone)
Bike pump (optional, but highly recommended)

Pumping the air to blow up the pool offers great resistance, and he thinks it's fun. Plus, it seems to be organizing and I think it helps keep him from getting overstimmed in the balls.  (Note the layer of blankets lining the floor under the pool.)


I couldn't get a picture of the next step because my hands were full with the task - he lies down in the empty pool and I pour the entire bin of balls over him.

The next bit is self-explanatory...


Note: This really is 400 pit balls. They don't go nearly as far as you'd think!

Once he's gotten the first round of jumping out of his system and is heading towards overstimulation, he starts throwing balls.  We decided to channel this impulse into something constructive.  He's got some motor planning issues that are pretty noticeable in the ball throwing area, so we set up the bin for target practice.


Once he gets ball throwing out of his system, he likes to experiment with the bin itself. I've got video of him scooting down the hall like a turtle with it : )



After he exhausts all the play options for one session, he's calm and organized enough to sit still and smile for a photo!