Recommended for Kids who:
- Have limited/intermittent eye contact
- Do not sit still, “on the go”
- Clumsy, bumps into things
- Are not certain if they are left-handed or right-handed (over age of 4)
- Have poor posture, low muscle tone
- Have poor eye-hand coordination
- Struggle with reading/focus point
- Avoid/struggle with ball sports
- Are anxious in classroom, home, daycare, PE gym, Wal-Mart, etc…
- Purchase 2 hula hoops, ask child to pick one, place hoop on floor, have child step into the center of the hoop
- Model extending arms out like wings/palms up (encourage keeping arms parallel to floor), ask child to look at hoop
- Ask your child to turn to the left or counter-clockwise (CCW) 3x at a steady rate (see pace on video), when the child stops, have them look up and count your fingers (wiggle the outside finger on your right hand to train the eyes to “read fingers” left-right), do this from approximately an arm length away
- Now, turn to the right or clockwise (CW) 3x at a steady rate when the child stops follow the same instructions as above i.e., counting fingers, etc…
Observe whether the movement to the left and right looks roughly the same? Are their feet hitting the hula hoop, are they falling outside of the hoop, are the arms lowering while they turn? Are they looking disorganized i.e., going super-fast? Take note if these behaviors happen in one direction versus the other.
This movement is facilitating the Vestibular System which in the nervous system effects balance, how we use both sides of our body together, how we use our eyes together and ears together. It has influence on our behavior and confidence. It is a super important sensory system throughout our whole life (Birth to Later Years).
There is a high chance you will observe a difference between their turns to the left versus to the right. It is recommended that you “Double Down” on the side that is “struggling” i.e. While turning to the right (CW) Charlie’s feet touch the hula hoop, yet this does not happen to the left (CCW). Then, I would have you ask Charlie spin right (CW), then left (CCW), then right (CW), start with 1 or 2 turns till he does it well. This is not a speed game (watch video), the goal is to practice perfect.
If your child does not tolerate 3 turns, reduce to 2 or 1 turns if necessary. If they say, “This makes me dizzy”, respond with “That is OK, your brain is like a muscle and when it gets dizzy your Brain muscle is getting Bigger, Stronger, Smarter and More Organized”.
The goal is to do 3 spins to left then 3 spins to the right 2x’s a day (preferably one time prior to reading on their own or being read to). Do this every day for one week. Beginning the second week, increase the movement to 4 spins to the left then 4 spins to the right (or Right/Left/Right or Left/Right/Left if determined that is what your child needs). Continue with the finger counting when done.
The program progresses by increasing the spin number by 1 each week until you reach 9 turns left/right, (or right/left/right or left/right/left) then you can re-evaluate what positive changes you hear from others who know your child.
You may need to incentivize this activity; you know your child best!