It is summer here in the midwest, and we are always looking for fun ways to get outside, get our Meaningful Movement in, and tie in a little learning to hold off the "summer slide". One category that we've been getting a lot of is vestibulars. Vestibular input is your sense of movement and is centered in the inner ear. Any type of movement stimulates the vestibular system, but swinging, spinning and hanging upside down provide the most intense and longest lasting input. Depending on your age and ability to handle this type of movement, start slow! Some of our current favorites right now are:
The Gonge Top
Add in some learning by:
*Skip counting by 2s, 3s, 5s, etc.
*Saying the ABCs
*Reciting Math Facts
*Recite states and capitals
Remember, that this is "Input Learning" and we are not testing our children. Skip count with them, use visuals with large numbers/letters, show the state and capital.
Try various types of swings, ones that go back and forth and possibly side to side. Make a plan to search your town for all of the different types of swings there are.
Merry Go Rounds
These are harder to find, as there was a time when they were thought to be too dangerous. I am pleased to be seeing new forms of this in playgrounds that are being updated, as the fun and benefit of this type of play has great impact on the brain and learning.
Rolling down the hill is a favorite of ours in the summer. There is one hill in particular that the boys love. However, we do look around as we drive and I always get a chuckle when my 8-year old shouts out, "That hill would be great for rolling vestibulars!" We've even traveled back to a few locations to try them out and make our Meaningful Movement activities a little more adventurous.