Stick Switch
Primary Market
Health, Seniors Therapy
Items Needed
1 Toobeez set, chairs (one per participant), CD player (optional)
The Activity Time
30 minutes


  • Brainstorm with your team ways to fit inside the square
  • Improve range of motion
  • Increase muscular endurance and strength
  • Work cooperatively with others
  • Improve sitting and standing balance
  • Improve hand-eye coordination
  • Increase flexibility
  • Increase activity level
  • Experience play
Activity Focus
Participants will increase physical activity level by “playing.”
Time 5 minutes


  • 1 Toobeez Set
  • Chairs (one per participant)
  • CD Player (optional)


  • Arrange chairs in a group
  • Have the 36” and 24” Toobeez ready
Activity Plan

Group Size: Small group or individual.

Time: 30 minutes

Space: Medium

Safety Considerations

Appropriate caution is important to conduct activities in a safe manner. Be sure to review these reminders prior to beginning the activity, and share reminders with the group if necessary.
  • Make sure participants are attentive at all times
  • Participants should be making eye contact when they are ready to toss and catch so they are aware it is their turn. Have the receiving participant say “ready” when he or she is prepared to receive the toss
  • Do not have participants sit or stand too close together
  • Start close and move further back as they become more confident
  • After mastering this activity, calling out “ready” willphase out

Helpful Hints

After Mastering this activity, calling out “ready” will phase out

Activity Instructions

1. Circle up the group.

Orient the participants to each other, and then read the Activity Challenge Box to the group.

Activity Challenge: Participants will increase physical activity level by “playing.”

2. Open with a brief discussion of “non-productive play” versus “productive play.” Many people feel that their recreation (play) must be “productive” (such as gardening, quilting, canning, etc.) and have never experienced play just to have fun. Give examples of non-productive play.

3. When the group is ready to begin the activity, share the following storyline.

Your group has been asked to come to Dullsville, a small town north of Plainville, where all the children and adults have lost interest in playing.They have become bored with playing, and some of the adults even think they are too old to play. Only you can help them see the spirit of play!

4. Depending on the size of the group, arrange the participants in a circle, a semi-circle or a line.

5. Demonstrate with a volunteer how to toss (with an arch) and how to catch the tube. Remind the participants to stay relaxed and to keep their arms bent with their hands ready. Also, remind participants to keep their eyes on the tube at all times. Practice a few tosses and catches with your volunteer.

6. The therapist or activity professional should stand in the center and catch a lateral toss from the participant. The therapist or activity professional will then toss it back to the participant.

7. This continues with all participants, and as skill level increases, participants will tap the floor after their catch to develop a rhythm.

Stick Switch8. If your group is still struggling, or if you feel your group would benefit from an additional challenge, present a variation provided below.

9. After the activity, move to the “Activity Discussion and Processing” section.

Here are the available Teambuilding Training Options.

Activity Variations

1. Two-handed catch.

If the participants or an individual is having difficulty catching with one hand, have them try using both hands.

2. Move closer or further away.

Make the activity easier or more difficult by increasing or decreasing the length of the toss.

3. Increase the Challenge.

Have the participants catch and release the tube with one hand while catching the next toss with the other hand. Time the group and have them “beat” their own record.

4. Have the participants stand.

This works well in a line because the “center” person can “walk the line,” moving as close or as far away for individual participants.

5. Add music.

Upbeat music can be added to create rhythm or can be used as a warm-down after the activity

6. Line up the participants

This activity works well in a line because the therapist or activity professional can walk up and down the line, moving as close or as far away from individual participants.

7. Time the group.

See if the group can improve their time passing the tube up and back down the line.

Activity Discussion and Processing

The effectiveness of the group process will often determine the outcome for the participant. These are only suggested questions to begin the discussion. Select the ones you feel will best benefit your group. Make sure to let everyone share their ideas, and remind participants that everyone’s feelings are important!

Suggested questions for Processing:

  • How did you feel when you heard we were going to “play?”
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • How does working on strength and flexibility help you as you age?/li>
  • Have you ever felt guilty for playing or putting others’ needs first?
  • Can exercise be fun?
  • Does all your recreation have to be productive?
  • What stage of life has been the most fun for you?
  • What are the best things about your age now?
  • Have you enjoyed looking at your life through play?

Closing the Activity

Review the challenge of the group and summarize how the challenge was (or was not) achieved. Highlight the main contributions and resolve unfinished issues. Affirm their efforts for support and acceptance of each other’s feelings. End with the following quote:“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.” – Charles Schaefer

Side Switch
Vicky Pitner is the author of the Toobeez Senior Therapy Activity Workbook and the upcoming Toobeez Recreational Activity Workbook. Recreation Services provides therapeutic recreation consulting, program development, staff and respite training, inclusion training, and workshops.
All Activities of Vicky Pitner, CTRS

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