Improve Focus and Concentration


Arm Activation is an isometric self-help activity which lengthens the muscles of the upper chest and shoulders. Muscular control for both gross-motor and fine-motor activities originates in this area. If these muscles are shortened from tension, activities related to writing and the control of tools are inhibited.


• The student experiences her arms as they hang loosely at her sides.
• The student activates one arm as illustrated, while keeping her head relaxed. She then compares the two arms in terms of length, relaxation, and flexibility, before activating the other arm.
• Activation is done in four positions: away from the head, forward, backward, and toward the ear.
• The student may feel the arm activation all the way down to the ribcage.
• The student exhales on the activation, releasing the breath over eight or more counts.
• The student may notice increased relaxation, coordination, and vitality as arm tension is released.
• On completing the movement, the student rolls or shakes her shoulders, noticing the relaxation.


• Take more than one complete breath in each position of activation.
• While activating, reach up to further open the diaphragm.
• This can be done sitting, standing, or lying down.
• Arm Activations can be done in different arm positions (e.g., arm straight ahead, next to hip, behind the waist).


• expressive speech and language ability
• relaxed use of diaphragm and increased respiration
• eye-hand coordination and the manipulation of tools


• penmanship and cursive writing
• creative writing


• operating machines (e.g., a word processor)


• an increased attention span for written work
• improved focus and concentration without overfocus
• improved breathing and a relaxed attitude
• an enhanced ability to express ideas
• increased energy in hands and fingers (relaxes writer’s cramp)

Brain Gym Dublin 085-1445494

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Bean bag activities

Bean bags

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.

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