The Benefits of Brain Gym for Preschoolers

A healthy mind lives in a healthy body. Some extremely simple exercises can boost brain function and make kids smarter, sharper, improve their eyesight and creativity, boost their communicative skills, and increase their confidence. These exercises are known as brain gym exercises. Brain gym exercises contain several movements which help with the children’s ears, eyes, head, limbs, and overall body coordination. According to Baldwin (2017), brain gymis a of movements, done with intention and designed to ‘wake-up’ the brain or to stimulate brainfunction whose focus is to improve learning and mental organization.The consistent use of Brain Gym movements wakes up neural connections in the whole brain and body to make us feel safe and emotionally centered.

Brain Gym is used in school systems around the world especially in the preschool to help preschoolerslearn and understand faster. Brain gym exercises are short and easy activities that the preschoolers can do to release stress and enhance learning. Doing the exercises doesn’t require too much space so these can be done even is small classrooms. These exercises are generally fun movements that are designed to engage and activate the brain.Most of the development of a child’s brain occurs in the first few years of his/her life. Givebrain gym exercises at this age and the benefits will go a long way in helping the preschoolers. There are 6 brain gym exercises that are good to introduce for the preschoolers:

  1. Brain Buttonsare meant to stimulate blood flow to the brain and helps the child to concentrate and focus.

  2. Thinking Cap helps in improving the child's hearing, peripheral vision, and short-term memory.

  3. The Cross Crawl helps burn excess energy, making it easier for students to concentrate on the teacher's lesson. Cross Crawls also help with comprehension, as the movement engages both halves of the brain and force them to work together.

  4. Hook Ups is a calming exercise that helps students focus.

  5. Paddling Handimproves blood circulation and improves the memory and attention of your child.

  6. Elephant Trunk stimulates the brain, and improves the child's thinking ability, short- and long-term memory, and attention.

Brain gym movements is used to connect both brain hemispheres (right and left), with the final aim of improving the brain functions, balancing the effects of daily stress and tension and, helping one reach an optimal state to help them stay in shape, to think, learn and concentrate at any time. Brain gym exercises are based on the work of Dr. Carla Hannaford, a neurophysiologist and educator with about 30 years of teaching experience. Dr. Hannaford maintains that learning occurs in every part of our bodies, not just our brains and the intentional body movements can contribute to our learning. Her ideas are specifically targeted to school age children. Many teachers have found that starting the day with Brain Gym movements helps children to calm down, focus, and perform better. A good time to do brain gym is right before learning activities.

 

References:

Baldwin, K. (2017). What is brain gym? Retrieved from http://husnul-
crb.blogspot.com/2012/05/tendency-of-using-sundanese-dialect.html on March 24, 2019.

Retrieved on March 24, 2019 from
http://www.iea.gob.mx/webiea/intranet/ingles/pstart/varios/BRAIN%20GYM.pdf

Tian, C. (2017). 10 Best Brain Gym Exercises for kids. Retrieved from
https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/10-best-brain-gym-exercises-kids/on March 24,
2019.

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