How to Improve Cognitive Skills With the Brain Gym Programme
Meta title: Benefits of using a Brain Gym
Meta description: Brain Gym exercises help develop a variety of cognitive skills in a child and improve the whole brain learning through some basic movements.
Many parents prioritise their child’s physical development over their mental development. However, there is a need to pay equal attention to both areas, and it is essential to set up an adequate support system for a child’s mental development. It is where Brain Gym comes in; this proprietary brain training programme can help a child achieve better mental growth by stimulating brain functions. Brain Gym activities rouse the brain and boost its overall functioning.
What is Brain Gym?
Brain Gym is a proprietary programme that involves a series of simple yet fun-loving movements designed to stimulate brain functions. It is also known as educational kinesiology or movement therapy—There are twenty-six suggested exercises from the Brain Gym programme, which a child can do at school or home.
These 26 exercises are designed to enhance a child’s learning ability and strengthen the relationship between their mind and body. These exercises also benefit children with special needs or learning difficulties. Popular activities like marching in place, cross-crawling, ankle touches, neck circles, and step touches help a child better understand various brain and body functions.
The husband and wife duo of Paul Dennison, an educator, and Gail Dennison, an artist and movement educator, developed the Brain Gym. The programme is a registered trademark of the Educational Kinesiology Foundation, founded by the Dennisons.
Benefits of Brain Gym
Brain Gym exercises stimulate various parts of a child’s brain to help them achieve an overall sense of well-being and improve their abilities. The key benefits of doing the Brain Gym programme include the following:
Improved brain functioning
Brain Gym helps stimulate brain functions, and the exercises stimulate both the right and left parts of the brain while completing tasks.
Brain Gym plays a vital role in improving students’ eyesight, and the various exercises help them improve their vision and hand-eye coordination.
Improved communication skills
Brain Gym helps children develop vital communication skills and allows them to build a deeper connection between the brain and body. builds
Brain Gym activities help children improve their self-confidence by completing various exercises. It has been noticed in a research paper that children who practise Brain Gym regularly have shown more confidence in using both the left and right sides of the brain for problem-solving.
Spurt in creativity
Brain Gym helps improve the level of creativity and imagination in children with designed exercises stimulating the right side of the brain. The activities motivate children to use visual and creative ways to solve problems.
How to start Brain Gym
The exercises in the Brain Gym programme can be introduced to children by parents at home or teachers at school. When teaching Brain Gym to children, it is essential to have the proper understanding, knowledge, and approach.
Conduct the Brain Gym activities in an environment that is appealing to the child. Moreover, it is better to start with exercises that motivate the child to be creative before moving to exercises that work on logical thinking and cognitive skills.
Parents should note that failure to make Brain Gym activities appealing early may dampen the child’s interest in participating in the exercises. The starting phase of the programme should revolve around recognising various aspects of the brain, and the focus can then move towards stimulating the child to complete the different exercises. The progress may be slow initially, but consistency and patience are key.
Why is Brain Gym vital?
Brain Gym activities help develop cognitive skills in a child. With the help of these exercises, a student can learn and understand concepts faster. The 26 Brain Gym exercises encourage learners to apply logical thinking, creativity, and cognitive skills to reach solutions.
As most brain development occurs at a young age, it is essential to introduce Brain Gym exercises early on. The programme can play a foundational role in developing a child’s cognitive abilities and equipping them with the right skills to solve more significant problems as they progress.
Brain Gym for kids
Brain Gym has some of the most popular of these activities are:
1. Double doodle
A bilateral drawing exercise where the student draws two images simultaneously using both hands.
2. Cross crawls
The child should slowly move the left arm to the right leg. Slow, precise movements help develop the child’s attention span and mental coordination.
3. Lazy eights
The child can draw figure eight in the air with the movement of the hand or on paper. This helps in improving the balance between mind and body.
4. Active arm
The child can stretch one arm and bend the other at a right angle. It is meant to increase hand-eye coordination.
5. Earth buttons
The child can place the right hand on the lips and the left palm on the navel. The child then rubs both hands in small circular motions in the respective regions. This activity improves whole-body orientation and mental awareness.
Children can perform these exercises standing, sitting, or lying down. The child can cross the left with the right ankle, place the hands on the chest, and intertwine the fingers. The child should then breathe deeply, relaxing their mind and body.
7. Thinking cap
The child needs to hold both ears with the thumb and index finger. The child then rolls and unrolls the outer portion of the ear. This exercise aims to help the child improve their peripheral vision, short-term memory, and hearing.
8. Neck circles
The child can close the eyes and must move the neck from one side to another, forming a circle in the clockwise and counterclockwise directions. His neck movement is to be done very slowly to avoid any jerk or injury to the neck. (CAUTION). The eyes can be opened once the rotation is complete. Let the process begin initially with two circles, clockwise and counterclockwise, and can gradually increase over time as per the child’s comfort.
9. The elephant
The child must stand straight and keep one arm behind their back. They should extend their other arm above the head, touching the ear and head and then bend their knees and raise their right hand in front of them. They must then trace a horizontal ‘8’ or infinity symbol with that extended arm while moving their upper body and eyes.
10. Trace X
The child has to sit with closed eyes and move their eyeballs to trace the letter ‘X’. This exercise improves the concentration level.
Brain Gym can play an instrumental role in a child’s development in their early years. Including these exercises in your child’s life in their early years can help you provide a strong foundation for stellar development. If you’re looking for guidance on this programme, contact United We Care, an online mental wellness platform that answers all your cognitive health problems right in the comfort of your home. Talk to an expert psychologist today!
|||L. S. Spaulding, M. P. Mostert, and A. P. Beam, “Is brain gym® an effective educational intervention?” Exceptionality, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 18–30, 2010.|
|||K. J. Hyatt, “Brain Gym®: Building stronger brains or wishful thinking?,” Remedial Spec. Educ., vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 117–124, 2007.|