Brain Gym

Education Category: Health
Ages: 4-8, 8-12, 12-16, 16+

Donated by Jeffrey

What do you need?
Motivated students

How does it work?
'Cross Crawl'
This exercise helps coordinate right and left brain by exercising the information flow between the two hemispheres. It is useful for spelling, writing, listening, reading and comprehension. Stand or sit. Put the right hand across the body to the left knee as you raise it, and then do the same thing for the left hand on the right knee just as if you were marching. Just do this either sitting or standing for about 2 minutes.

'Hook Ups'
This works well for nerves before a test or special event such as making a speech. Any situation which will cause nervousness calls for a few 'hook ups' to calm the mind and improve concentration. Stand or sit. Cross the right leg over the left at the ankles. Take your right wrist and cross it over the left wrist and link up the fingers so that the right wrist is on top. Bend the elbows out and gently turn the fingers in towards the body until they rest on the sternum (breast bone) in the center of the chest. Stay in this position. Keep the ankles crossed and the wrists crossed and then breathe evenly in this position for a few minutes. You will be noticeably calmer after that time.

“Figures of eight’’ 
This is excellent to stimulate both sides of the brain. Using the index finger of your left hand draw a large figure of eight in front of you. Practice a few times and then repeat using the right hand. Then repeat but complete figures of eight with both hands at the same time.

“Nose and ear swap”
Place one hand on the opposite ear and the other hand on your nose. On the given instruction swap your hands over but your hands must cross in the middle. It is really fun and if you’re an expert try it quicker (but don’t poke yourself in the eye). It can be carried out with a partner with your hands on their ear and nose!! Great fun!

“Tummy rub and head tapping” 
This is a well known exercise but is great for the coordination. In a circular motion rub your tummy and at the same time pat your head. Ensure it is two separate actions not both tapping or rubbing. Really funny to watch!

What else do I need to know? 
There is a lot of literature written on using both the left and right hand side of the brain to become stimulated. U can use this literature to come up with your own exercises and expand the brain gym.

What is the purpose of the game? 
We have provided a few brain gym activities in this pack. Brain gym activates the brain for optimal storage and retrieval of information. Every nerve and cell is a network contributing to our intelligence and our learning capability. Many educators have found this work quite helpful in improving overall concentration in class. There is a lot of literature written on using both the left and right hand side of the brain to become stimulated. I have limited experience in this reasonable new science but have a few fun energizers to use with the children.

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