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balance and vestibular Have you every considered incorporating balance and vestibular activities into your lesson plans?  The result of calm, regulated and eager learners will certainly inspire you to add more activities.  Give it a go and include a focus on balance and the vestibular system within lesson plans at school or during study time at home.

“The vestibular system detects movement of the head and the pull of gravity. The sensory information is received through the inner ear and then interpreted in the brain. This system governs your balance and tells you whether you are right side up or upside down. Children who have under-responsive vestibular systems seem to want to be constantly on the move, spinning, jumping and running. Children who have over-responsive vestibular systems are scared of swings, elevators, movement, maybe a baby cries when you lay them down.” – Britt Collins, M.S., OTR/L in Vestibular Activities and How to Use them Appropriately

It really is not that hard to incorporate balance and vestibular activities into lesson plans or homework activities.  The kids will have some extra fun and garner therapeutic sensory input at the same time. Here are twelve quick ideas to get you started:

Seated

Bounce on a [easyazon-link asin=”B000BPN3JO” locale=”us”]hippity hop ball[/easyazon-link] or [easyazon-link asin=”B000XKIBZ8″ locale=”us”]therapy ball[/easyazon-link] as you recite a poem to the rhythm of the bounce.  Exercise Balls: What to Do with Them?

[easyazon-link asin=”B000BKHYNU” locale=”us”]Swing[/easyazon-link] high as you recite any list with each pump – times tables, ABC’s, presidents, states, you name it!  Too Cold Outside to Swing? Warm Up with a Yoga Sequence

Enjoy a [easyazon-link asin=”B003O86DGU” locale=”us”]see-saw[/easyazon-link] ride as you give a quiz.  When you’re pushing up, you ask a question, on the way back down, your partner answers it.  After ten questions, switch roles.

Two-Foot

Jump on a [easyazon-link asin=”B000067Q0P” locale=”us”]trampoline[/easyazon-link] as you listen to a classical music composition or a book on tape.  The Sensory “Ups” of Trampolines

Hop over a [easyazon-link asin=”B0016BQFU6″ locale=”us”]jump rope[/easyazon-link] or a [easyazon-link asin=”B000ID32VI” locale=”us”]Skip It[/easyazon-link] as you offer definitions or spellings for words.

Stand on a [easyazon-link asin=”B001RIW42G” locale=”us”]balance board[/easyazon-link] as you give an oral report or narration.  Sensory Strategies for Under-Responders

Alternating Feet

Walk up and down stairs while listening to a learning CD.

Skip around the house between each chapter read (or after every few pages.)  Beating Dyspraxia with a Hop, Skip and a Jump

[easyazon-link asin=”B000GW35EK” locale=”us”]Roller-skate[/easyazon-link] or [easyazon-link asin=”B003XI9N5O” locale=”us”]roller-blade[/easyazon-link] while discussing some new concepts or planning a project.  20 Ways to Stay Active

One-Foot

Balance on one foot while creating some modern art at an [easyazon-link asin=”B002JCS5JA” locale=”us”]easel[/easyazon-link].  Sensory Integration Experiences through Art

[easyazon-link asin=”B001RPS87E” locale=”us”]Scooter Board[/easyazon-link] down the sidewalk estimated distances and then measure to see how close you got.  Scooter Boards: Vestibular and Proprioceptive Input

Whole Body

Reflect on your day while trying out some yoga poses or stretching.  Three Yoga Poses for Balanced Body and Mind

Which is your favorite activity?  Have you tried any of these before?  Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Martianne is a homeschooling mom with over 20 years of experience in education, youth work and dramatic arts both in the United States and abroad. With certifications as a Middle School Generalist and English 8-12 teacher, plus a drawer full of certificates from a wide variety of professional development workshops and graduate courses, she brings a comprehensive “traditional” background to her present-day creative pursuits. Visit Martianne at Training Happy Hearts.