Ideas from an Occupational Therapist - Walking the Ball Activity
Our expert of the week is Noa Dotan.
Noa is an occupational therapist in the field of child development and mental health. She has shared with us a wonderful exercise that develops fine motor skills and strengthens muscles around the shoulder.
Here’s what she has to say about the activity:
“The purpose of the exercise is to move the ball from point A to B, rolling it with only the fingers. When we play with balls, we often throw or roll them, engaging our whole body and gross movement patterns. There’s benefit in that however this exercise develops the mobility and strength of the fingers while the rest of the arm is stable, developing strength in the shoulder girdle. Stability in the upper body is important in the ability to perform fine motor skills such as writing and drawing.”
Have a go at Noa’s ball exercise. Noa suggests starting by rolling the ball on a smooth, flat surface. You might place tape on the surface and focus on rolling the ball in a straight line. You could challenge yourself and roll the ball through an obstacle course. Next, can you roll the ball up a vertical surface like a wall? Rolling it above your shoulder height will be a real test on your shoulder strength.
Handy tip: the smaller the ball, the harder it is!
Thank you @noadotan.ot for your great exercise and sharing your knowledge with us. We highly recommend you follow her page for more meaningful exercises.