For a small child, a ball is, first of all, a positive charge and joy from the game. Big or small, bright, colorful, with ears or rubber “needles” – it is the main part of children’s pastime. But, in addition to the delight of using the ball and the variety of games with this sports equipment, the ball is also a necessary attribute for the prevention of many diseases and for the development of the child’s body. What are the children’s balls, and how to choose them correctly?
What are kids’ balls and what are they used for?
- Gym balls (fitballs)
This option is a useful toy for outdoor activities at any age. Fitball is a huge inflatable ball made of high quality durable material. The maximum load is 150 kg, the diameter is about 55-75 cm. The benefits of fitball: gentle load, maintenance of flexibility, prevention of spinal diseases, physical and intellectual development of the child, training of the vestibular apparatus, sense of balance, etc. Fitball will come in handy at any age – for newborn babies, teenagers, adults and the elderly. The miracle ball invented in Switzerland is successfully used for children with cerebral palsy, for rehabilitation after injuries, for aerobics, to strengthen the ligaments and relieve the spine.
The benefits of fitball for baby’s health are invaluable:
- Development of the vestibular apparatus by swinging on the ball (even in the first year of life).
- Passive “swimming” to receive visual, vestibular, kinesthetic impulses (almost like a mother’s tummy).
- Psychological relaxation, emotional relaxation, positive emotions.
- Relaxation of the abdominal muscles… And, accordingly, improving digestion, reducing the frequency of colic, improving breathing.
- Anesthetic effect and stimulation of the liver and kidneys, as well as other important organs through vibration.
- Strengthening and development of all muscle groups, due to the complication (with age) of gymnastic exercises.
- Strengthening the spine and improving the functioning of the nervous system.
- Health Benefits of Hyper- and Hypotension, orthopedic pathologies, etc.
Parents can carry out the very first exercises with a gymnastic ball from the moment the baby turns 2 weeks old – when the home adaptation is completed, the regimen is adjusted and the umbilical wound has healed. Of course, immediately after feeding, exercises with the ball are not recommended – you should wait 40-60 minutes.
- Game balls
Their variety defies description – the game ball can be selected in accordance with the wishes, age and height of the baby. It can be a tiny one-color ball, a medium-sized ball with a toy filling, or a large one with the image of your favorite cartoon character. Game balls are about getting pleasure from the game, active recreation and the first steps to sports. Age range: a newborn baby, of course, will not be able to play football, but, starting from 3-4 months, small balls will be useful for the development of motor skills and coordination of movements.
- Sports balls
Sports activities for toddlers begin between the ages of 3 and 7. Therefore, special balls (for football, rhythmic gymnastics and other sports) are purchased as needed.
- Jumping balls
Ideal sports equipment for mobile babies. There is no need to confuse them with fitballs, although they are similar in purpose. Unlike the latter, jumpers have tails, horns or handles, which the little one holds during exercise. You can use the ball for gymnastic / healing activities or just for unbridled fun. Age range: from 2-3 years old – about 27-30 cm, from 5-6 years old – 45-50 cm, for large children and adults – 60 cm. Maximum load – 45-50 kg or more.
- Massage balls
This equipment is intended for medical and artistic gymnastics. And just for games, of course. The massage point effect is ensured thanks to the needle-like surface (rubber “pimples” on the surface of the ball), which improves blood circulation, general development, strengthening the back muscles, the development of coordination of movement, etc. Massage balls come in different diameters, “pimples” sizes and rigidity – from a 7 cm ball for the development of fine motor skills (from 3-4 months) to large balls 75 cm in diameter.
- Balls for a dry pool
The benefits of these balls have already been proven by time – many young parents have inflatable pools with rubber (plastic, foam rubber) balls. The pool is filled to the brim with colorful balls instead of water, and the baby gets a powerful “pool” of joy right in his room. In terms of health, diving into such balls is a calming of the nervous system, body massage, strengthening of muscles and endless delight. Age range: for toddlers from 3 years old.
When choosing a ball for a child, remember the main thing:
- The ball should spring – no excessive resistance or falling inward.
- Pinch the ball – there should not be many small folds (a sign of poor quality). When re-inflating, a high-quality ball always restores its shape – no cracks, wrinkles, folds.
- Anti-bursting system (icon – ABS) allows the ball to deflate when it breaks, rather than bursting under the child.
- A quality ball has no visible seams, burrs and unpleasant odors.
- The nipple must be soldered inside the ball.
- The material of a good baby ball is hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly, no harmful impurities and anti-static.
- A good ball is warm to the touchNon-slippery, non-sticky and non-sticky.
- And take care of the baby’s nervous system and his eyes – bypass too rainbow or poisonous colored balls…
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