Starfish Therapies

January 31, 2012

Tummy Time – Its a Ball!

Ok, I am a big proponent of tummy time and I have discussed why I think its important in Tummy Time: The Cornerstone of Movement and Tummy Time: What’s the Big Deal.  I have also provided suggestions for ways to incorporate this in Strategies for Tummy Time.  I now have a new approach!  I am beginning to work on a video series for a set of ‘How To’s’ for parents who are looking for ways to help their kiddos work on their motor skills and milestones.  The first video is for tummy time and shows how to use a therapy ball to help your kiddo work on tummy time.

Now, its my first attempt at a video like this and I decided to leave in the natural dialogue between the mom and I because this is the way I talk when I am working with families and kiddos.  I added some text at the bottom of the screen to drive home some of the points but I thought I would also outline them here.

  • You can move the ball side to side to work on trunk reactions and weight shifting
  • Moving the kiddo back on the ball will take away some gravity and make it easier for them to push up and get trunk and neck extension
  • Moving the kiddo forward on the ball makes it harder because they have to work against gravity more
  • If you hold tighter to their hips and pelvis you provide more stability making it easier for them to have success with pushing up
  • If you hold looser at their hips (although make sure they are safe) you give less stability and make them figure out how to use their muscles to stabilize
  • Bouncing the ball can help to keep their muscles going longer to work on endurance
  • Moving the ball to one side can make it easier to lift the opposite arm for reaching
  • Slower movements allows them more time to react to the change in position
  • Faster movements are harder to react to and need a little more stability
  • If you hold the ball in one spot for slightly longer they get to work on the endurance of their postural muscles
  • Lastly, I mentioned this but have whatever interests them in front rather than to the side of them so that they are working their muscles evenly.  You can always move what interests them around so they work on weight shifting and head and neck turning but keeping it off to one side the whole time is not in their best interest!

Hopefully this video is helpful and my video skills will improve with practice!

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9 Comments »

  1. […] Tummy Time – Its a Ball! […]

    Pingback by Friday share with math paper, a DIY weight lap pet, tummy time, and ipad info | Therapy Fun Zone — February 3, 2012 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  2. […] Tummy Time – Its a Ball! […]

    Pingback by Therapy Fun Zone Community – Friday share with math paper, a DIY weight lap pet, tummy time, and ipad info — February 3, 2012 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  3. […] help and support, not to mention motivation to get moving! When they are little I do lots of tummy time to develop their butt muscles, anti-gravity trunk extensors, their head and neck muscles and their […]

    Pingback by What Does Low Tone Mean? « Starfish Therapies — February 9, 2012 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  4. […] make tummy time more fun for Arya as well as her parents, I am considering getting an exercise ball or a tummy time play mat. It’ll be a few more months until Arya is crawling around so […]

    Pingback by Baby Getting Better at Tummy Time - DaddyLibrary.com — July 26, 2012 @ 1:48 am | Reply

  5. […] have also worked on strengthening by using a therapy ball.  I love to use a therapy ball for tummy time (which is important to work on with you child).  By using the ball you can move it so that your […]

    Pingback by Ideas for Torticollis « Starfish Therapies — February 21, 2013 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  6. […] Tummy Time:  Its a ball! (video link included) […]

    Pingback by Some More Tummy Time | Starfish Therapies — April 24, 2014 @ 8:01 am | Reply

  7. […] help and support, not to mention motivation to get moving! When they are little I do lots of tummy time to develop their butt muscles, anti-gravity trunk extensors, their head and neck muscles and their […]

    Pingback by What Does Low Tone Mean? | PediaStaff Pediatric SLP, OT and PT Blog — July 23, 2014 @ 7:47 pm | Reply

  8. Great article! What size ball and what age do we start them on the ball?

    Comment by Jessica — April 10, 2015 @ 7:22 pm | Reply

    • I believe its a 65 cm ball. As for age, I think you can start at anytime. When they are really little you can just have them resting on their belly and get them used to enjoying being on their belly. As they start to get more head control you can work on bringing their arms under them. Hope that helps!

      Comment by Starfish Therapies — April 10, 2015 @ 7:30 pm | Reply


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