Helicopter Spin

For ages three years and above,provided they can walk and run

Have children balance themselves by extending their hands out from the sides of their body.

Invite them to spin as fast as possible, in a standing position, for 15 seconds. Say: “We are helicopters flying to the airport.” Play loud music while spinning.

Then say: “STOP and close your eyes. Keep your balance. Remain standing.” (Do not say: “Don’t fall down.” Emphasize what to do, not what not to do.) The children stand for 25 seconds until they no longer feel dizzy. The process is then repeated.

Spin ten times. This will take about five minutes. Spin 15 seconds, rest 15 seconds, spin 15 seconds and so on. Speed is important. It keeps the ear fluids moving.

Eventually children will spin with eyes closed, opening them occasionally in order to check on safety. (Do not spin one way and then immediately spin the other way because it is important that the fluid in the semicircular canals of the ear keeps moving. When you start spinning the other way, the fluid movement stops and stimulation is reduced.)

For children having difficulty, the adult stands over the child and assists by grasping one hand and quickly pulling the child’s arm around the body and creating a continuous spinning action.

This is one of the routines used by Professor Lyle Palmer (Winona State University) with great success to improve the learning ability of young children.

Learning revolution

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