This is a great fun exercise activity to play in aged care and gives the upper body some great movement.
You will need a balloon filled with air and also have a couple more on standby in case of a balloon popping. A very lightweight beachball is also an option but if the game is played with much older residents we do recommend using balloons.
You will need a volleyball net, these can be purchased in a store in the sports department.
This game is played seated so everyone is safe from toppling over and everyone has the same advantage while playing.
You will need quite a good amount of space to play this game, we recommend setting it up in a large room.
Have refreshments available at the end of the game to keep everyone hydrated.
This is a guideline for a fun social game of volleyball and can be modified to your taste.
How to Play:
- Set the net up across the room, at least one meter off the floor.
- Place two rows of chairs on each side, spaced across the width of the net.
- Have a whiteboard to write down the score for each team.
- Sit residents on the chairs and start by having an umpire serve one of the balloons over the net. Players will hit the balloon over the net with their hands toward the other team.
- If the balloon fails to go over the net, the opposite team scores one point. Then they have a turn at hitting the ball over the net. It can be served by an umpire at the side of the net.
- Have a time limit for each game and the top scorers win that game.
Benefits of Balloon Tennis
In addition to being a fun and entertaining activity, balloon tennis has a number of benefits for seniors in aged care. These include:
- Improving hand-eye coordination: Balloon tennis requires players to track the movement of the balloon and coordinate their hand movements to hit it with their racket.
- Promoting gross motor skills: Swinging a fly swatter or racket requires the use of large muscle groups, helping to improve gross motor skills in seniors.
- Encouraging socialization: Playing balloon tennis in a group setting promotes socialization and can help seniors feel more connected to others in their community.
- Boosting mood and morale: Balloon tennis is a low-pressure, low-stakes game that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. This can help boost mood and morale in seniors, promoting a sense of happiness and well-being.
Overall, balloon tennis is a simple and enjoyable activity that can be a great addition to any aged care facility’s activity schedule. Give it a try with your residents and see how much fun they have hitting balloons back and forth over a makeshift net!