So being on Day 6 of lock down, and some of us having been at home much longer than that with kids, we decided you need a blog post that provides some comic relief as well as provides a challenge, both physical and mental.

Presenting: The SAISI Stress Ball Challenge

You might have received one of these stylish, multi-purpose items on a recent course.  These lovely green balls are worth much more than you think.  Not only are they helpful for releasing anguish while you write your protocol, but can be used for a multitude of sports challenges.  Here are our 25 ideas to get you started:

1.Bilateral sieve catch: toss the ball into a sieve

2. Kitchen cricket: using a wooden spoon as a bat

3. Passage golf (version 1): roll the ball down the passage and try to get it to stop on a bath mat

4. Passage golf (version 2): use a broom as your club and a cup on its side as the hole

5. For those of you dedicated members who have 2 or 3 stress balls: how about learning to juggle?

6. Tenpin bowling: roll the ball to knock over the Coke bottles

7. Egg and spoon race/relay: balance the stress ball on the end of one of your precious toilet roll inners

8. Family all stand in a line, first person holds the ball under their chin (touching neck between chin and chest) and then without using hands passes it to the next person under their chin continue until ball is passed to last person – can time it and see if you can beat your time or another team’s time.

9. Hand tennis or hand table tennis

9. Popcorn pong: bounce it down the passage into a container.  Level 1 : throw the ball into the container ( the lower and wider the opening, the easier it is).  Level 2: bounce the ball into the container.  Level 3: take turns and see who can get the most goals in a row.

10. Tube skittles: roll the ball through a pipe or down a ramp to knock down skittles of some sort

11. Galaxy bowling: stand with your back to the bottles and throw the ball between your legs.

12. Stingers

13. Robot zapping: stand with back to wall and a ball in each hand. Rotate on your axis and touch the ball (first to right, then to left) to touch target stickers placed on the wall behind you.

14. Lazy 8: sit or stand and roll the ball in a figure of 8 on the floor with two hands alternating. You can draw the 8 on the floor with chalk, or roll it around your feet and between your legs.

15. Towel toss:  2 players hold the corners of a towel.  Place the ball in the middle and throw it up into the air, and catch again.

16. Simon says: Mom gives instructions to roll/hold the ball with different parts of your body. Try under your chin, between your shoulder and ear etc, or jump like a  bunny/kangaroo with the ball between your legs.

17. Tray challenge: Hold a tray in both hands.  Count how many times you can roll the ball in a circle before it falls off.  Try make circles both clockwise and anticlockwise.

18. Bowls: see who can roll a ping pong ball closest to the stress ball (target).

19. Crawl with a stress ball in each hand, toes in the air.  Have a race!

20. Bilateral pass: sit back to back and pass the ball bilaterally to your partner

21. Sibling pass: stand in a line and pass the ball over head, then under/between your legs, or round the sides.

22. Toss the ball to each other without catching or letting it touch the floor. If you miss – the other person gets a free shot to throw it at you / you have to balance on one leg.

23. Bridge: stand like a crab.  See how long you can stay like that while someone else rolls the ball under you. Ideal for 3 players, one on each side to roll the ball and a crab in the middle.

24. Head hockey: place the ball in the toes of an old pair of pantihose.  Pull the pantihose over your head. Now try to knock over a plastic bottle by bending over and swinging the ball with your head, no hands allowed!

25.  Duster hockey: each have a broom and try to sweep the ball past each other.

And if you’d like to create a longer game, Ray-Anne Cooke created the game below in 5 minutes and using minimal stationery. Make spinners using 2 paper plates. Spin both and do what it says. You can have winner or just do it for fun. This example would be squeeze the ball in your elbow and spin 3 times.

Of course any ball will do.  These ideas were posted with a sponge stress ball in mind, and a heavier ball might make the challenge more dangerous (for people or precious decor).  As OT’s you know how to grade accordingly! Please post your own pictures and videos to the SAISI Stress Ball Challenge post on our Facebook page. And keep your eye on the ball!

Thank you to our hard-working Board members for their valuable contributions and for ensuring the physical and mental vitality of the sensory integration community and their families!  Special thank you to Elize Janse van Rensburg for the idea for the challenge.  Note: no husbands or children were harmed during the filming of the challenges.