Tag Archives: pincer grasp

Tennis Ball Monster

I have seen several versions of the tennis ball monster on Pinterest lately. Of course my version includes letters!

Tennis Ball Monster


OT Skills this Activity Targets:

-bilateral motor coordination

-visual motor skills

-hand strength

-pincer grasp

Materials/Equipment Needed:

-tennis ball

-googly eyes

-flat glass gems

-Modge Podge

-sharp knife

-glue gun

Instructions to Make the Activity:

Use knife to cut a slit in the tennis ball to create a mouth. Glue on googly eyes with hot glue.  Type or write letters on small pieces of paper that fit on the flat glass gems. Use Modge Podge to glue letter to bottom of gem, let dry, and put another coat on top of paper letter. Let dry completely or gems will stick together in the container you store them in.

How to Play:

Student squeezes open tennis ball with non-dominant and “feeds” it with dominant hand. I often have the student feed the monster their spelling words. When task is complete ask the student to get the gems back out, it is more tricky to get them back out.

How to Grade the Challenge

-Random letter placement makes visual scanning more difficult while placing the gems in straight rows decreases the challenge. Also pay attention to letter orientation (i.e. upside down or turned on its side).

-Feed the monster letters in alphabetical order or start at z and work backwards.

-For students who struggle with reversals, I made a set of b,d,p, and q. At a fast pace I will call out one of these letters and the student verbally repeats the letter while putting it in the mouth.