Meagan Forsgren from ILS Learning shared some exercises for organization and emotional grounding.
Top to Bottom Brain-Building Exercises for Organization and Emotional Grounding
Many children who have learning challenges sometimes struggle with organization, emotional grounding, difficulties with behavior and high-anxiety. There are even those students who are academically advanced, but their emotions are difficult for them to control. Typically these children have disconnections with the top to bottom parts of their brain, which controls their emotions. This can cause children to have anxiety when taking tests, fight or flight responses, trouble expressing their emotions and they sometimes lack personal boundaries.
If your child`s brain is not wired top to bottom you may notice their hands and feet don`t work well together and they are clumsy. In addition, their hands may not work well with their eyes either, which may cause trouble with reading, writing and self-expression.
Top to bottom exercises can help regulate the part of the brain that controls your child`s emotions. They help your child feel relaxed and safe, they release the fight or flight responses and they allow your child to respond rationally instead of emotionally.
Top to Bottom Exercises
Here are some activities to try at home with your children to improve their academic and emotional state for higher learning development. To complete these exercises, ensure the top area of your child`s body enters the space of the bottom part of your child`s body. For best results, repeat exercises 10 times, three to five times a week.
For this activity you will need a small ball. Have your child take the ball in their hands and bend over and touch the ball to the ground. You`ll want your child`s legs shoulder-width apart. Have them touch the ball in front of them, then the middle, then behind their legs.
We want the top and bottom parts of the body in sync with each other to improve their timing and rhythm. Put a piece of tape on the floor like a pretend balance beam. Have your child walk across the tape heel to toe. While walking across it, have them raise their right hand above their head as they step, then switch to their left hand as they switch feet. You can use ribbon sticks with this exercise to make it more fun.
With a weighted bar, have your child raise the bar over their head and then touch the bar all the way down to the floor, making sure the top parts of your child`s body goes into the space of the bottom part of the body.
Leg and Arm Bends
Have your child sit on a sensory ball while holding the weighted bar in their hands. Have your child stick their feet in front of them (off the floor) with their arms extended over their head with the weighted bar. Then bring the bar to their chest while they pull their legs to their chest.
Use tape to create a fake balance beam on the floor. Have your child walk across the balance beam heel to toe. While they walk across the balance beam, have your child clap their hands at the same time. They must clap at the same time their foot is stepping.