Using the racket and ball

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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! 

Racket and ball activities


  • Spatial awareness.
  • Tracking a moving ball with the eyes.
  • Using arm/wrist strength.
  • Working with a partner.


  • Skill development
  • Independence
  • Communication
  • Social skills

Balloon tennis

  1. Work with a partner using a balloon.
  2. The partner releases a balloon into the air.
  3. Using either one of their hands, the participant taps the balloon trying to keep it in the air.

Make it easier:

  1. Partner can tap balloon up to keep it in the air for longer.
  2. Support with the participant’s movement where needed

Make it harder:

  1. Travel across the space to increase movement.
  2. Support with the participant’s movement where needed.
  3. Work with a partner to tap the balloon across a net/barrier tape. 

Floor tennis

  1. Working with a partner, stand or sit two metres apart facing each other.
  2. Participant pushes a ball along the floor or tabletop with a racket towards their partner.
  3. Partner pushes the ball back.
  4. Add a challenge and see how many passes you can make!

Make it easier:

  1. Start at a small distance.
  2. Use hand or giant foam hand instead of racket.
  3. Support participant to push the ball.

Make it harder:

  1. Increase distance between participant and partner.
  2. Try stopping the ball under strings of racket before pushing it back.

Racket contact

  1. A partner stands beside participant and drops ball vertically down from shoulder height. 
  2. Participant tries to hit the ball before it rolls away (multiple bounces allowed).
  3. Racket can be strapped onto hand if grip is an issue.

Make it easier:

  1. Place ball on top of a tall cone or empty plastic bottle and try to hit it off.
  2. Start with racket held back.
  3. Support and guide racket if needed.

Make it harder:

  1. Drop ball from waist height to reduce hitting time.
  2. Try to hit after just one bounce.
  3. Create a target area or aim to hit over a net.