Snowball Shot Put Sensory Play for Kids this Winter

I’ve got four kids.  The weather is starting to get really cold and the illnesses are being passed from kid to kid.  We’ve got runny noses, ear infections, and antibiotic prescriptions for half of the crew. This mama needs creative indoor play.  


When the indoor play requires a sensory spin, this move and play activity is designed to provide vestibular input for sensory movement seekers and is sure to bring on the smiles.  Even through the sniffles!


We’ve been sharing a few creative ways to play with vestibular input recently.  These have been wintry activities based on our Christmas OT calendar (and I’ve got a few more fun ideas up my OT sleeves for you!).  

Vestibular sensory play activity for indoor play. This shot put game is a great way to incorporate the vestibular system into play.

Vestibular Ball Throwing Activity

Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


While this sensory shot put activity is definitely a great vestibular input activity, it can be done any time through out the year.  I went with light blue (Frozen-esque?) balls that reminded us of winter snowballs.  The small balls were from our Bounce-Off Game
game. You can use whatever lightweight ball you’ve got in the house.  A ping pong ball or small plastic ball like these ball pit balls
would work great. You don’t want to use a bouncy, rubbery ball, because for this activity, we want the concentration to be on the target and not a ball that is bouncing all over your living room and crashing into lamps.  



Indoor Shot Put Game



Use a light foam ball or ping pong ball to play shot put.  Create a target using an empty laundry basket.  Your child should turn in circles like a shot put champ, extend their arm out, and toss that snowball into the target.  Encourage them to spin in one area to get rotational vestibular input. 


Rotational vestibular input can be done by simply spinning on the feet, but adding a wheeled office seat or Scooter Board
can be beneficial too.  Adding the scooter board allows this activity to be done in different positions. 



Rotational Vestibular Input Activity for Kids

It is important to note that rotational vestibular input (spinning) is a powerful physical action on the body.  Activities should last no more than 15 minutes. Spinning needs to be monitored, particularly in children with sensory needs.  Some children may react quickly to a spinning activity and others may take longer for their body to register the effects of rotational input. For kids that just do not get dizzy, provide only limited periods of spinning input and only in one direction for 10-15 spins, then in the other direction.  The effects of spinning can last for a full 8 hours, so it’s important to not overdo this activity.  Please contact your child’s Occupational Therapist for recommendations to meet your child’s particular needs.


Have snow outside?  Great!  Take this activity outdoors and play snowball shot put with real snowballs!


More ways to extend this activity:
Practice counting spins and balls that are tossed.
Use target areas in various sizes.
Try the activity in various positions: seated, prone, and standing.
Add soft wrist weights for proprioceptive input.
Work on hand-eye control by removing the movement component.
Add learning by spelling out words with each throw.

Vestibular sensory play activity for indoor play. This shot put game is a great way to incorporate the vestibular system into play.

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Are you looking for more information on Vestibular or Proprioception (and ALL of the sensory systems) and how they affect functional skills, behavior, and the body’s sensory systems?  This book, Sensory Processing 101, will explain it all.  Activities and Resources are included.  Get it today and never struggle to understand or explain Sensory Integration again.  Shop HERE.
Looking for more vestibular activities?  Check out our January calendar that has 31 days of vestibular and proprioception activities based on winter play.

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you can get free printables like our monthly Occupational Therapy calendars and never miss a post! 


Make a Wobble Balance Ice Disc for Proprioception and Vestibular Sensory Play

You know how there are just some things you show your kids that are instant hits?  A surprise trip to an amusement park or ice cream for dinner will instantly bring on on the cheers and be one of those days that kids remember long after the awesome day has passed. This Wobble Balance Ice Disc is one of those things.


Add sensory play to the outdoors with this vestibular activity.


We’ve been sharing fun proprioception and sensory ideas recently for winter play and therapy ideas on our January Occupational Therapy calendar.  This ice balance tool is on the calendar and is a balance activity that you really need to try.


Make a wobble balance disc from ice for sensory input and balance training. This helps kids with attention, strengthening, and fidgeting while incorporating sensory needs like proprioception and vestibular integration.


Wobble Disc for fidgeting, balance, and core muscle strength

Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Wobble cushions
come in many shapes and sizes. There are seat cushions that help with attention and fidgeting while seated, balance boards
for vestibular input, and therapy balls
that can provide proprioceptive input.  All of these tools are capable of helping kids with sensory needs.  A balance disc or wedge provides feedback to a child’s body, allowing them to get their “wiggles” out.  They are challenged to make minute corrections to their core body to compensate for movements of the unstable surface. This is a great way to work on balance and core muscle strength deficits that are often seen in children with sensory needs. 



Make a wobble balance disc from ice for sensory input and balance training. This helps kids with attention, strengthening, and fidgeting while incorporating sensory needs like proprioception and vestibular integration.

Ice balance wobble disc

This was a cold weather activity, although it could be a big hit in the hot summer weather.  You could also re-create the experience in a bathtub or baby pool brought into the indoors.  Freeze a disk of water in a large plastic bowl.  You want the frozen ice cube to be large enough for your child to sit on and thick enough that it doesn’t break when your child sits and stands on it.  A large plastic popcorn bowl works well for creating an ice disk.  Simply fill the bottom with water and place into the freezer (or outside if it’s cold enough!) 


When the water has frozen, run warm water over the outside of the bowl to remove the ice.  Then, take it outside for sitting on. Place a folded dishtowel on the ice and have your child sit on the flat surface.  They can hold onto the edge of the disc with the towel protecting their hands from the cold ice. Your child can balance and spin on a hard surface like a sidewalk.  The snowy balance disk makes a great ice sled, too.  If you are doing this activity indoors, bring a baby pool into the house and spin and wobble in the pool. 


Make a wobble balance disc from ice for sensory input and balance training. This helps kids with attention, strengthening, and fidgeting while incorporating sensory needs like proprioception and vestibular integration.

Wobble Disc for Proprioceptive Input

Sitting or standing on an unstable surface like a wobble disc is a great way to provide proprioceptive input.  Ask the child to sit on the ice disc and balance themselves as you hold their hands.  You can pull the child along a flat surface to provide proprioceptive input through their arms.  Then, ask the child to push themselves along using their legs.  They can pull their legs forward or push themselves backwards to incorporate difference muscle groups. For a greater challenge, have the child stand on the disk, holding onto your arms for support. This strengthening activity challenges balance while providing proprioception through the arms and upper body.


Make a wobble balance disc from ice for sensory input and balance training. This helps kids with attention, strengthening, and fidgeting while incorporating sensory needs like proprioception and vestibular integration.

Wobble Disc for Vestibular Input

Have the child sit on the ice disc as they are pushed along on a flat surface like a porch or driveway.  Have another child push the child on their low back to get proprioceptive input to the pushing child. Practice balancing back and forth in a seated position for more vestibular input.


Make a wobble balance disc from ice for sensory input and balance training. This helps kids with attention, strengthening, and fidgeting while incorporating sensory needs like proprioception and vestibular integration.

Are you looking for more information on Vestibular or Proprioception (and ALL of the sensory systems) and how they affect functional skills, behavior, and the body’s sensory systems?  This book, Sensory Processing 101, will explain it all.  Activities and Resources are included.  Get it today and never struggle to understand or explain Sensory Integration again.  Shop HERE.

Looking for more sensory activities? Try these:
  Oobleck in the Marble Run  Alphabet Discovery Bottle

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you can get free printables like our monthly Occupational Therapy calendars and never miss a post! 

How to incorporate sensory play into playing outside


Many sensory diet activities can naturally be found outdoors. In fact, outdoor sensory diet activities are a fun way to encourage sensory input in a child’s environment and without fancy therapy equipment or tools. 

It’s a fact that kids are spending less time playing outdoors. From after-school schedules to two working parents, to unsafe conditions, to increased digital screen time, to less outdoor recess time…kids just get less natural play in the outdoors. Some therapists have connected the dots between less outdoor play and increased sensory struggles and attention difficulties in learning. 

Knowing this, it can be powerful to have a list of outdoor sensory diet activities that can be recommended as therapy home programing and family activities that meet underlying needs.

That’s where the Outdoor Sensory Diet Cards and Sensory Challenge Cards come into play.

They are a FREE printable resource that encourages sensory diet strategies in the outdoors. In the printable packet, there are 90 outdoor sensory diet activities, 60 outdoor recess sensory diet activities, 30 blank sensory diet cards, and 6 sensory challenge cards. They can be used based on preference and interest of the child, encouraging motivation and carryover, all while providing much-needed sensory input.

Here’s a little more information about the Outdoor Sensory Diet Cards
  • 90 outdoor sensory diet activities
  • 60 outdoor recess sensory diet activities
  • 30 blank sensory diet cards, and 6 sensory challenge cards
  • They can be used based on preference and interest of the child, encouraging motivation and carryover, all while providing much-needed sensory input. 
  • Research tells us that outdoor play improves attention and provides an ideal environment for a calm and alert state, perfect for integration of sensory input.
  • Outdoor play provides input from all the senses, allows for movement in all planes, and provides a variety of strengthening components including eccentric, concentric, and isometric muscle contractions. 
  • Great tool for parents, teachers, AND therapists!


Be sure to grab the Outdoor Sensory Diet Cards and use them with a child (or adult) with sensory processing needs!

Outdoor sensory diet activity cards for parents, teachers, and therapists of children with sensory processing needs.