Bean bags are particularly well adapted for developing the ability to throw and catch objects. Small children and children with motor or visual difficulties can play successfully with a bean bag when it would be impossible for them to play with a ball. The child is able to catch the bean bag by just getting his hand in front of it whereas he has to coordinate his grasp to a much greater extent to catch a ball. If he misses the bean bag, it hits the ground and slides to a stop in a short distance. If he misses the ball, it bounces and rolls and the child has to chase it. Therefore the bean bag is much less frustrating.
1.Throw the bean bag up in the air and catch it when it comes down.
2.Throw the bean bag up and make it just touch the ceiling. Then throw it up and make it come as close to the ceiling as you can without touching the ceiling.
3.Throw the bean bag up in the air and try to touch it with your right foot when it comes down.
4.Throw the bean bag up in the air and try to touch it with your left foot when it comes down.
5.Throw a bean bag up in the air. On the command “right”, “left”, or “both” catch the bean bag with the right hand, the left hand, or both hands.
6.Throw the bean bag up in the air. When it reaches the top of its trajectory close your eyes. Try to catch the bean bag with your eyes closed. This activity requires the child to visualise the path that the bean bag will follow in its descent and predict where it will fall. This is an important part of his training.
7.Hold two bean bags, one in each hand. Throw both bean bags in the air simultaneously and catch them when they come back down.
8.Throw the two bean bags up in the air and catch them with the opposite hands. Catch the bean bag thrown with the right hand in the left hand, and catch the bean bag thrown with the left hand in the right hand.
9.Throw the two bean bags up in the air and clap a rhythm pattern with hands (clap, clap, clap, pause, clap) before catching the bean bags.
10.Throw the two bean bags up in the air, clap your hands, slap your legs, then catch the bean bags.
11.Invent five new patters to clap, slap or stamp while throwing and catching the bean bags.
12.Keep two bean bags in motion by throwing one up in the air, watching it reach the top of the trajectory, then throwing the other one up and so on.
13.Throw the bean bags in rhythmic sequences, for example left –2, right –1. Continue the sequence at least 10 times.
14.Throw the bean bags in rhythmic sequences that include left, right and both hands. Left –2, right –1, both -2. Repeat 10 times.
For a how to make bean bags video and downloads with more activities visit my website www.braingymdublin.net click on the red button called Free christmas gift on the home page to take you to the video and down loads.
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Belly Breathing reminds the student to breathe instead of holding his breath during focused mental
activity or physical exertion. The breath should expand the rib cage front to back, left to right, and top to bottom, including the abdomen. When breathing is shallow, lifting only the rib cage, the oxygen supply to the brain is limited. When one breathes correctly, there is abundant oxygen for higher brain functions.
• The student inhales through the nose and initially cleanses the lungs with one long exhalation, released in short puffs through pursed lips (he may imagine keeping a feather afloat). Thereafter, the outbreath is also through the nose.
• The hand rests on the lower abdomen, rising on inhalation and falling on exhalation.
• Inhale to a count of three, hold breath for three, exhale for three, hold for three. Repeat. For an alternate rhythm, inhale for two, exhale for four, with no holding.
• Ideally, rhythmic breathing is automatic. Rhythmic music may help, so that counting isn’t needed.
• When doing activities like lifting, kicking, or pushing, remember to exhale on the exertion.
• Lie flat with a book on the belly. The abdomen should rise on inhalation and lower on exhalation.
• 3-D Breathing 8s: Squat with hands flat on the floor, between your knees, to experience the diaphragm as you breathe. Then paint an imaginary 8 between your left and right ribs, feeling both spheres of the 8 expand as you inhale and contract as you exhale. Now turn the 8 so that it expands between your stomach and spine; now turn it top to bottom, expanding your chest and lower abdomen. Can you activate all three 8s at once?
• Paint an 8 on any of the above-mentioned body planes. Let your breath move you as you inhale, painting one side, and exhale, painting the other. Direct the 8 around areas of tension, or around the focal points of any other Brain Gym movement (e.g., your two hands, while you are doing Brain Buttons).
• Walk and Belly Breathe at the same time.
ACTIVATES THE BRAIN FOR
• the ability to cross the midline
• centering and grounding
• relaxation of the central nervous system
• cranial rhythms
• reading (encoding and decoding)
• speech and oral reading
• improved inflection and expression
• a heightened energy level
• diaphragmatic breathing
• an improved attention span
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