Why We Use a Ball Pit For Therapy
You’ve probably seen the ball pits we have at each location. We get a lot of questions about why we have these ball pits!
We just really enjoy spending a lot of time chasing balls around.
Ha! We actually can’t stand spending time chasing the balls around. The truth is that the ball pit has multiple functions in treatment.
Several of our facilities have zip lines, and we will be adding a zip line soon in our new location in Katy. We use the zip line to fall into the ball pit. Why do we do this? It’s a safe way for the kids to get a really firm impact. The impact is part of proprioception. For the kiddos who use this, this type of proprioception is part of their sensory diet and their sensory regulation. Falling into the ball pit gives deep, heavy proprioceptive input.
Dunk and Dive
Another thing that the ball pits are really good for is something I call “Dunk and Dive.” Our kiddos will put an object in the pit, such as colored rings. They then have to go through the ball pit to find the rings. When kids do this not only are they learning to use their tactile senses to find the objects, but the act of moving through the balls is also a tactile experience. Many of our kids don’t like to get completely immersed in the balls. Other of our kids like to get completely under them and find it to be a very relaxing sensory experience.
Learning Letters and Words
You might notice that we’ve drawn letters on some of the balls. Sometimes therapists will have children hunt for the alphabet or spell words with the balls. We can be extremely creative with this ball pit because it tends to be a preferred activity!
We spray the ball pit every day, and we dump it and clean it thoroughly on a regular basis. You would not believe the stuff we find at the bottom of our ball pits, including people’s glasses and wallets! So be careful in the ball pit, because it tends to absorb things from you!
For Kids of All Ages
Overall this is a really fun activity for our kiddos. The ball pits are large because we treat both kids and young adults, and we want young adults to fit too.
Our ball pits are proprioceptive and tactile, and when we use the zip line in connection with it that adds some vestibular focus to the activity as well. This is a great sensory regulator, and it’s so much fun!