Whacky Ball Activity Center

Promoted Skills

Product Description

The B. Whacky Ball Activity Center contains a maze, four balls and a hammer that squeaks. The activity center provides opportunities to strengthen motor and learning skills.  Children’s auditory and visual senses are stimulated when playing with this toy.  The activity center can be used independently or in cooperation with others. To expand play, the balls and hammer can be used separately in other play activities. BPA-free and lead-free.

Cognitive 4

Skills

  • Problem solving skills are used as children figure out how to make the balls come out of the bottom of the maze.
  • Visual tracking, a pre-literacy skill, is enhanced as children watch each ball’s descent to the bottom of this tracker.
  • Sequential thought process is used as children perform the steps necessary to place the balls on top, hold the hammer, pound the balls, watch the balls track down and retrieve the balls at the bottom.

Play Ideas

  • Create a treasure hunt to find objects in the house that are the same color as the different balls.
  • Place all the balls at the bottom of the tracker and have the child close his eyes. Take a ball away and then have the child look and recall which ball is missing.
  • Count how many seconds it takes a ball to descend to the bottom of the tracker.

Adaptation Ideas

  • For children who have difficulty hitting the balls hard enough to make them enter the maze, the balls and hammer could be used without the maze.  The child can hit the balls with the hammer and make them roll across the table or floor.
  • For children who have trouble sequencing several steps, pre-place the balls on top of the unit.
  • For children who need a visual cue, place one ball on top of the unit and have the children place the other three. 

Sensory 3

Skills

  • Hitting the balls with the hammer provides proprioceptive input.
  • Arm extension, reaching and wrist rotation is strengthened as children use the hammer to hit the balls.
  • Placing the balls on the top of the tracker helps children work on grasp, eye-hand coordination, and appropriate timed release.

Play Ideas

  • To increase sensory stimulation use the squeaky hammer on the floor or play table.
  • Place this unit on a light colored surface to help increase the contrast and heighten focus.

Physical 3

Skills

  • Arm extension, reaching and wrist rotation is strengthened as children use the hammer to hit the balls.
  • Placing the balls on the top of the tracker helps children work on grasp, eye-hand coordination, and appropriate timed release.
  • Hitting the balls with the hammer provides proprioceptive input.

Play Ideas

  • For new crawlers and walkers, roll the balls across the room and encourage the child to go get them.
  • Older children can sit across from each other and play a game rolling the balls back and forth.
  • Hold a ball in each hand and bang them together to encourage midline play.

Adaptation Ideas

  • For children who may have trouble with manual coordination, pre-place the balls on top of the unit for them.
  • Wrap the handle of the hammer with masking tape or use a portion of pipe insulation to enlarge the handle and help with grasping.
  • Pre-place the balls on the top of the unit to lessen the precision and grasp necessary to play.

Developmental Processes Promoted

Additional Details

Approximate Price:
$24.99
Age Range:
1+
Directions:
None
Levels of Play:
Three Levels
Storability:
Easy
Washability:
Surface Wipe

AblePlay Rating

Whacky Ball Activity Center

Developmental Skill Rating (1-5)
Physical 3
Sensory 3
Communicative 3
Cognitive 4
Social/Emotional 3

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