It has been shown that there is a relationship between the inner coordination and the ability to learn. I know from my own experience that after starting similar exercises, (aged about 10) using my keys, I improved my reading and writing ability dramatically. It has now been shown that the concept of these exercises can have a dramatic effect on the learning and coping ability of dyslexic students but I believe that they are relevant to anyone. What is the harm in trying them out, dyslexic or not???
These simple exercises will help to improve the coordination and communication between the mind and body. The idea is to build the communication pathways between the mind and the outer appendages, thus improving the brains ability to communicate with the body and improve written communication and reading.
Try the easy exercises using a bean bag first and then a bouncy ball. The advantage of the bean bag is that when you drop it, it doesn’t bounce away. The more different types of things that you throw the better you will be as each different object will behave differently in the air…
One Handed Throw and Catch.
Take a bean bag in your dominant hand and throw up in the air, aiming for about 1 foot (30 cm) in height. Catch the ball one handed.
- Try throwing it to different heights.
- Try doing it without actually looking at the bean bag.
- Try doing it blind folded rather than just not looking at the bag.
- try to catch it from above.
- Try the above with your other hand.
Two Handed Throw and Catch.
Throw the bean bag from one hand to the other and back again.
- Try without looking.
Throw the ball onto the floor and catch it as it comes back up.
- Try catching it alternately on the up and on the downward journey.
Throw a bouncy ball off the wall and catch it.
- Try a double bounce. Floor first then wall and wall first then floor.
- Try one eyed.
The Drinks Bottle Juggle.
Take an empty drinks bottle and half fill it with water. Throw it in the air so that it does one spin and catch it back in the same hand. Try and work out the timing and control between flipping the bottle over once and twice at different heights. The water in the bottle moving whilst in the air makes it’s behavior much harder to predict.
- Try different heights and different numbers of spins.
- Try throwing from one hand to the other with spins.
- Try doing the above standing on one leg.
- I usually do this whilst walking down the street if I’m going anywhere with a bottle of water in my hand.
One Handed Juggle.
Two bean bags in one hand throwing alternately up into the air.
- Try different heights and then different objects. Using one bag and one ball makes it harder.
These simple fun exercises barely scratch the surface of what is possible. You can make up your own and make them as hard or as easy as you like. The point is that as long as you are getting your brain to communicate with your hands and your eyes and indeed your legs you will be training your body to perform better and teaching the vital communication that is inherent in reading writing and arithmetic.
My top tip with these exercises is that they are best done in short bursts and often. I started with my keys and progressed to a small bouncy ball which I used to throw and catch as I walked to lunch or between lessons at school. Bean bags would be better because I was forever loosing my bouncy ball in the lunch queue… Good luck and enjoy.