I work closely with the teachers of all grade levels. During my interaction with the pre-primary teachers, one question that comes up most times is,” Children switch off after a while, how can we make them active again?” I get these teachers to think on this and come up with their own suggestions. They suggest that the children should be better engaged and by using interesting activities. Then, my question to them is, first of all, should we not ready, prepare the children to participate and engage enthusiastically in class?” Hence, the need to include Brain Gym activities in class.
Most often, children are engaged in activities which would either stress them out or may not enthuse them enough. So, after a while, they switch off and the learning stops! This switching off after a while is natural because certain parts of the child’s Brain become inactive. Brain Gym exercises work the best towards waking up the Brain such that it keeps them active throughout the day!
Dr. Paul Dennison, creator of “Educational Kinesiology,” Brain Gym® activities, says that a child’s brain is “awakened” for higher learning. Brain Gym activities facilitates waking up of the mind and body and readies it for learning. A sound mind in a sound body highlights the need for physical exercise- to strengthen our muscles in order to carry out the daily activities. Similarly, Brain Gym exercises stimulate the Brain and keeps it awake for the children throughout their learning hours.
Why Brain Gym exercises for Preschoolers and Pre-primary classes?
Brain controls all the activities of the body. Children in the age group of 1.5- 5 plus years are trained to develop creativity, imagination, recognition, intuitiveness, reading and expression. Logic and Reasoning, Critical Thinking, Numbers and Language are an integral part of their curriculum. These activities are performed by the Left and Right sides of the Brain, collectively. A consistent use of Brain Gym movements wakes up the neural connections in the whole brain and body to make us feel safe and emotionally centered. Hence, waking up the children’s Brain and keeping it active is the key to their learning both inside and outside. Therefore, starting their day with a 3-5 min. Brain Gym exercises contributes to their active participation, meaningful engagement and attentive learning in classroom.
How do Brain Gym exercises help?
Brain Gym exercises help develop, attention, concentration, co-ordination, memory, organizational skills and self-responsibility. While a teacher demonstrates Brain Gym activities in class, the children are mostly attentive, concentrate on movements, co-ordinate body movements, remember and perform these exercises after practice, organize the instructions and align them with actions and engage responsibly in the activities. They apply these skills in their classroom learning.
Benefits of Brain Gym Exercises
Brain Gym exercises benefit the children in many different ways. To list a few, they improve,
What is the right time to do Brain Gym activities?
Brain gym exercises are short and easy activities that the pre-schoolers and Pre-primary children. They are done to ready the brain for the day, release stress and enhance learning. A good time to do brain gym is right before learning activities.
Brain Gym Exercises don’t require much space and can be done even is small classrooms and at children’s homes during online classes. Many Pre-school and Pre-primary teachers across the globe, advocate starting the day with Brain Gym movements as they help the children to calm down, focus, and perform better. Teachers will begin these exercise after the students have settled down, completely.
A few simple Brain Gym exercises which can be done anywhere,
Marching in place: warming up
Cross crawl: improves concentration and coordination
Ankle touch: improves balance and coordination
Ankle touch behind your body: improves coordination
Thinking Cap: improves vision and short term memory
Brain Button: relaxes, stimulates blood flow and helps in maintain body balance
The Elephant: improves hand –eye coordination and concentration, memory
Brain Gym exercises should be conducted after the settling down period. Introducing Brain Gym exercises at the start of the day, for about 5 minutes, will keep the children active, energetic, focussed, attentive, calm and engaged. These exercise also improve posture, concentration, coordination, thinking, short term memory and learning.
Considering the benefits, most Pre-school and Pre-primary advocate the use of Brain Gym exercises and this has gotten included into a day’s routine.
-Mamatha Rao, Academics Team, Ryan Edunation
Refer to the links below for Brain Gym exercises.
Brain Gym Exercises for students: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5ChXC-rHLE