We quickly discovered that the Ball is also very popular with older sisters who seem to think it should be added to the nearest amusement park or Chuck E. Cheese. But why do that when you can just ride your sister's every time Mom leaves the room?
Once we got the ground rules set with the older girls, Lily got to work. At first we just practiced sitting on top of the ball trying to hold a center of balance.
She quickly decided she liked laying on her belly on it and rolling forward and backward to pick up toys.
The PT said this was actually a good idea and then tweaked my technique to make it more effective for her back, glutes (rear end), and obliques (ab muscles that run along your side) and probably several other muscles that I am forgetting right now! She suggested that we hold toys out in front of her at the maximum extent of her reach so that she would to lift up and use all the aforementioned muscle groups while reaching. We do this for as long as she's having fun changing the location of the toy within a semicircle area in front of her and to her side. Our wonderfully sweet and creative PT keeps reminding me of just how many muscle groups are utilized not only in sitting upright, but also in standing and walking...which is our quickly approaching goal! We need to get those muscles toned and ready!
Another exercise we have been doing is a little trickier (for both Lily & me!). It's probably easier to explain with the pictures! First, we lay Lily on her back on the ball. Then I encourage her to roll to her side by maneuvering the ball to one side.
To compensate for the feeling of falling off, she turns her body toward the center of the ball.
Next, I roll the Ball slightly away from me to encourage her to pull herself up to sitting.