Exercise Ball Tummy Time

Exercise balls are a great way for babies and toddlers to develop muscle strength and balance.

Set up

Clear a space from any corners or hard surfaces.  Depending on the baby’s age, you can start with them lying on their tummy or sitting on the ball while you hold them and the ball in place. Ensure you have a firm hold of the baby’s midsection (between hips to armpits) and that the baby has sufficient head and back strength to hold their head up.

How to play
Step 1
  • Lay the baby on their tummy, or sit them down, on the exercise ball, facing you
  • Gently roll the baby back and forth
  • Make eye contact with he baby and engage with them by talking or singing familiar songs 
Step 2
  • Following the baby’s cues, change the movement, rocking them gently from side to side
  • Some older babies may also enjoy you helping them to bounce up and down on the ball in a sitting position
Make it harder
  • Older babies & toddlers (12mths +) may enjoy standing against the ball and pushing it
  • Older babies & toddlers (12mths +) may also enjoy sensory seeking movements such as lying on their back on the ball and rolling them backward. Always ensure you have a firm grip on the child with two hands
Activity information
Age: 0-12 months, 1-2 years
Participants: 1 +
Equipment: Exercise ball, Mirror (optional)
Duration: 10 minutes
Skill focus
Explore these skills for teaching tips
Activity summary
Physical literacy tips
  • Lay baby on their tummy on the ball, facing a mirror so they can look at themselves. Rock the baby on the ball from side to side, and back and forth
  • Make a story or sing familiar nursery rhymes to engage the baby