Rolling Along

By Activity Bank on Sep 13, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Kathy Heydt and Monica Allon and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

In this activity, students roll from side to side and practice shifting their weight as they work on their motor development.  This will increase their ability to maintain their balance on playground and exercise equipment, as well as to participate in recreational sports. Lessons include Adapted Physical Education, and Orientation and Mobility.


Toy bowling pins, foam blocks, pillows, empty plastic soda bottles, empty cereal boxes, paper bags


  • Ask the student to lie down on the floor with his hands over his head, parallel to the ground.
  • Ask the student to gently roll in one direction, then the other.
  • Provide targets for the student to knock over, such as toy bowling pins, foam blocks, a pillow stack, empty plastic soda bottles, empty cereal boxes or paper bags.
  • Provide assistance as needed.


  • Ask the student to hold onto an object while rolling (e.g., beanbag, stuffed animal, or ball)
  • Vary the location of his arms (e.g., both at his side, one over his head and one at his side, etc.)
  • If the student has difficulty keeping his arms straightened, try using cardboard tubes placed over his elbows, in consultation with his physical therapist.
  • Rolling up and down a ramp.
  • Rolling over an uneven surface (e.g., small pillows, beanbags, small stuffed animals).
  • Rolling with a paper bag over his hands or feet.
  • Rolling inside a carpeted barrel.

Hints: Perform the activities on a safe surface, such as an exercise mat. Guard the student against falling or bumping into other obstacles. Also, fast rolling may cause seizure activity in seizure-prone students.