Modifications for Bean Bag Exercises

Here are some modifications for children, youth or adults who are developmentally delayed or challenged intellectually or physically:
If the individual is not ready to toss and catch on his own, start with a gentle toss of the bean bag back and forth between partners:
 Sit facing the person, either in chairs or on the floor. If in a chair, make sure it is one in which his feet are comfortably on the floor. Sit as close together as is comfortable. If the person recoils when the bean bag is tossed toward him, start by dropping it into his two hands, and invite him to return it to you in the same fashion. Gradually move a little further away until you are actually tossing it very gently with two hands and he is catching with two hands, and tossing it back. Go no further than two arm lengths apart. Then, you may try doing the same thing while standing.

Make sure that the bean bag is always tossed underhand.

Graduate from tossing and catching with two hands to tossing with one hand and catching with two.
Only when he has some comfort with this, demonstrate a toss up into the air and catch. Start with a two-hand toss up and two-hand catch, eventually trying a one-hand toss up and catch with two hands.

When beginning the Pass from hand to hand exercise, you may need to do some hand over hand with the individual. If so, sit facing him, quite close together. Put your hands under his hands and gently move his hand holding the bean bag across his centre, helping him turn his arm over to place the bean bag in his other hand. Bring his hand back to the starting position. If he does not need hand over hand to start, sit facing him, each of you with a bean bag. You will act as his mirror – if he starts with the bean bag in his right hand, you will start with yours in your left hand. Very slowly pass it over to your other hand, then open the first hand. I usually add the words: “Pass, open; pass, open.” to get the rhythm of the exercise, before starting the verse, “Chop chop”. Start very slowly. Emphasize the turning over of the arm for the pass. I  eventually use the word “slap” instead of “pass” to emphasize the sound the bean bag makes. It also emphasizes the tactile quality of the beanbag. Progress gently through the skill levels so as frustration does not set in.

Website for bean bags:, or ask Google….