Bean Bag Toss


Purpose: To develop bilateral control, VMI, and spatial awareness.

Material: Two pails/buckets/bowls, small beanbags (or other soft, non-bouncy, small objects for tossing), paper, pencil, balance board.


Patient stands about six feet from the bucket and is instructed:

1.  First practice tossing one bag into the right bucket and then into the left as you look directly at it.  Practice first with the right hand and then with the left.  Vary the distance.  See if you can estimate easily as you change the distance.  Practice enough days to make certain that your estimations are more correct than incorrect by a good percentage.

2.  Next, look at the right basket as you toss into the left basket with your right hand, then at the left as you toss into the right.  Now repeat, using your left hand.  Continue this until it is going well, as in the first step.

3.  Next place an X or fixation mark between the two buckets.  Look directly at the X as you toss a beanbag into each bucket simultaneously, using right and elft hands.  The right hand tosses to the right bucket and the left hand tosses to the left bucket at the same time, without taking the eyes off the fixation mark.

4.  When you can do step 3 reasonably well, vary the procedure by throwing the right bag into the left bucket and the left bag into the right bucket simultaneously.  Again, the eyes must be zeroed in on the fixation mark at all times.

5.  The last step:  replace fixation mark between the buckets with the front page of a newspaper or a letter chart.  Read the words (or letters) as you simultaneously toss the bags.

Aspects to be emphasized:

1.  Be aware of space between self and targets and between targets simultaneously.  Take in a big bite of visual space.

2.  As improvement is seen, place buckets a little further apart.

3.  When further challenge is desirable;

a.  repeat on the balance board

b.  repeat while walking toward and away from the buckets

c.  carry on conversation

4.  Ability to control eye fixation and perform in a relaxed, easy manner.

Other notes:

1.  The ‘fixation mark’ is simply a bold ‘X’ on a sheet of paper.

2.  Be sure to have the child toss the bean bags using the non-dominant hand 10% of the time.

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