Fidgety bodies make for closed minds. The vestibular system needs to be activated to learn. (This is why Debbie Clement has those Wobble Seats everyone!
• Swinging, rocking, vestibular activity is related to the highest level of thinking. (Joan Firestone)
• What makes us move makes us think. Movement builds the framework for cognition & brain development. (Jean Blaydes-Madigan)• Combining language with movement increases cognition 90%. (Pat Wolfe)
And what is the best partner to all of this? You know the answer.
Many schools are now beginning their days with Brain Gym or Yoga type exercises. And, they are seeing HUGE improvements. Recently, I released a CD I worked on with Tere Bowen Irish, a well-respected OT. It is called My Mindful Music
Children and teachers alike are enjoying the activities that help refocus our tired or disrupted minds. Or, re-energize our minds when we just don't want to do any more!!!!
Here are a couple of activities :
Stretchy Bands are a great
tool for teamwork and working our muscles. Just ask Carole Stephens! She has a lot of ideas for these.
StretchyBand Songs I use.
The first song is VERY easy.
"Who can pull the stretchy band?" Children answer "We can" while taking 2 steps back
Follow the words
"Pull it out, pull it out. Pull and pull and pull. Now, walk the stretchy band back in"
Take four steps out - 1, 2, 3, 4. Take four steps in - 1, 2, 3, 4
Like I said, easy.
Sometimes, it's just good to breath. Every time I do this in a workshop, the teachers are so quiet afterward and say "That feels so good."
Close your eyes. Put your hands over your belly button and relax.
Breath in. Hold it. Release the air while saying "SHHHHH"
You do not need the song to do this activity. Put on some quiet, instrumental music (preferably new age or binaural music).
Taking 5 minutes here and there will benefit you and your children. It will put tools in place for how to self regulate. And, it will get the brain ready to move onto the next task which will be learned more easily and retained longer.
Visit my Daily Brain Facts on Facebook Make music and movement an important part of every day. Please leave comments on what you are doing in your classrooms to get everyone moving. I LOVE hearing from you!
Find me on Facebook - Maryann Harman