Body and ball activities

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Contact [email protected] if you’d like further support, or if you’d like us to send you a free physical copy of this resource. We’d also love to hear about how your sensory tennis sessions are going! 


  • Understanding the movement of a ball.
  • Releasing and sending a ball.
  • Understanding body awareness.


  • Skill development
  • Choice
  • Try something new

Grip and release

  1. Use a range of balls with different textures and sizes.
  2. Place ball in participants’ hands and encourage them to grip as tight as possible.
  3. Participant releases ball to the floor.

Make it easier:

  1. Support participant with gripping and releasing the ball.
  2. Use a single type of ball of the participants’ choosing.

Make it harder:

  1. Drop the ball from different heights.
  2. Drop the ball onto a target area.
  3. Try to catch the ball after the bounce.

Flying fish tapping 

  1. Use a ball in a sock or ‘flying fish’ (see the list of equipment you may need).
  2. Partner holds the flying fish out at shoulder height.
  3. Participant taps it by moving their hand upwards.
  4. Alternatively, the partner holds the flying fish above the participant’s head and they tap it with an overarm action.

Make it easier:

  1. Support participant with hand movement.
  2. Move flying fish closer to participant.

Make it harder:

  1. The flying fish is held loosely in the partner’s hand, for the participant to tap it out of their grip onto the floor.
  2. Participant hits the ball with a racket instead of their hand

Bounce and catch

  1. Racket is placed on the floor or table in front of participant, with 3 balls placed on top.
  2. Partner stands 2m away facing participant.
  3. Participant picks up a ball and bounces it to their partner to catch.
  4. Repeat with all three balls.

Make it easier:

  1. Support participant with gripping balls, hand movement and direction.
  2. Remove the racket and start with ball in participant’s hand.

Make it harder:

  1. Increase number of balls.
  2. Increase distance between participant and partner.
  3. Partner bounces ball back to participant who tries to catch it.