Try these brain building exercises to help children with ADHD, learning differences and other academic, behavioral or social issues.
The Brain Balance Program® works to integrate sensory input and strengthen motor skills through activities and exercises designed to improve balance and stability and increase muscle tone. We utilize “same-timing techniques,” for stimulating the weaker side of the brain and balancing the two hemispheres for real-time integration. This coupled with academic activities and easy-to-follow dietary guidelines help to establish proper connections in the brain and improve rhythm and timing.
Here are 5 exercises from the book Disconnected Kids by our co-founder and creator of The Brain Balance Program, Dr. Robert Melillo, that you can do at home with your child to help promote better brain balance:
Aerobic Exercise: Jumping Jacks
Get into position with feet together and arms at the side. Jump up and simultaneously raise the arms and spread the legs on the descent. Do 20 in a row followed by a 15-second rest for a total of 3 sets. CHALLENGE: Try it with eyes closed.
Vestibular Exercise: Slow Spinning
Have child sit in a chair that can spin with head bent slightly forward. Legs should be off the floor an on the chair tucked in or criss-crossed. Child should keep head still and eyes closed during exercise. Spin chair slowly - it should take one minute for a single full rotation. While spinning ask child to point in the direction he is spinning. When you stop spinning the chair, ask the child if he is still spinning. If yes, wait until that feeling stops before opening eyes. If child is feeling up to it, repeat the same exercise in the opposite direction.
Proprioceptive Exercise: Superman
Have child lay flat on belly on the floor with arms straight out above head. Have her hold an arm and opposite leg up for 15 seconds and then repeat for the other opposite sides. CHALLENGE: Lift all four limbs off the floor at the same time for as long as possible (like Superman flying). The goal is to hold this position steady for 60 seconds for four sessions in a row.
Tactile Exercise: Number Tracing
With eyes covered, have child sit with arms outstretched, palms up. With eraser end of a pencil, trace a digit from 0 to 9 on the appropriate palm and ask him to identify the number. Do this three times with three different numbers. CHALLENGE: Repeat but write six random numbers at a time.
Academic Exercise: Contrasting Programs
Sit facing your child. Hold up one hand and tell your child: Hold up one hand opposite mine. As soon as I raise one finger, you raise two fingers. When I put my finger down, you put yours down. Whenever I raise two fingers, you raise only one finger. Respond as quickly as possible and put your finger down each time as soon as you have responded.
Use a quaisrandom pattern such as 1,1,1,2,1,2,2,1,1,2. Repeat a total of ten time and record how often the child failed to follow. It is normal to make one or two errors in each set.
To learn more about why our whole-child approach is the most effective way to help your child, contact us online or find a center near you.