Beach Ball

For Exercise and Co-ordination

Supply List:

  • A beach ball
  • Two or more people

Directions for Caregivers:

Watch the video together, learn the routine, and get started!

This beach ball activity works well with the group. Do one exercise at a time and move from one person to the next around the room.

Early to mid-stage memory care/dementia

Do the activity as outlined in the description. Catching the beach ball can trigger an automatic response when the ball is coming (gently) toward you.

Late-stage memory care/dementia.

If the person you are with is not able to respond to a throw, handing them the ball and asking them to return it to you may work. Rolling it towards a person sometimes triggers an automatic response of kicking it if the person is sitting down. Watching the activity as a passive observer can be fun, too.

If you only blow the ball up a little, it is a great fidget tool and great passive exercise for hands and fingers.

About this Activity

Exercise your hand-eye coordination and arm muscle strength.

The beach ball I use is about 1 1/2 feet in diameter.

This exercise is good one-on-one and also works well with a group. Group members get good enjoyment out of watching each other take part. It is a perfect activity for hand-eye coordination and concentration and is an exercise for arms and hands.

Repeat each movement three times for each participant in a group situation, working your way around the room—more times if you do it one-on-one.

1. First, the beach ball is thrown toward the person; they catch it with both hands and throw it back.

2. Then, ask the participant to return the ball, hitting it with flat, open hands. Then, repeat the same movement, first with one open hand, then the other.

3. Now, repeat the same exercise as above, returning the ball with closed-fisted hands.

4. Bounce the ball to each other; first, they catch and throw it back. Then, bounce and hit the ball back instead of catching it.

5. Finally, roll the ball toward each participant and ask them to kick it back with an upward motion.

Passive exercise: Try deflating the beach ball in your hands. It's a great way to work on hand strength and feel the smooth texture with ridges. You can even fold it in different ways for added fun.

For more target game ideas, try our mini beanbag activities.

Beach Ball