Vesti what??? The vestibular system is our balance system and one of the key building blocks to children’s movement and learning.
Seeing, touching, smelling, tasting & hearing are the senses with which children experience & discover the objects in their world. However another sense which is vital to their learning and focus is the vestibular sense.
Put simply, VESTIBULAR refers to head position.
Rolling & turning, swinging, swaying, bouncing up & down & going upside down (even just a little) swishes the fluid in the curved canals in the ear. This stimulates tiny hairs which are ‘receptors’ to the nerves which carry information to the brain about which way is up.
This is super important if you want to master gravity and move around fluently. It’s one of the ‘survival senses’ and is also a ‘filter sense’ for the other senses, in particular the eyes.
These senses have to agree for the world to make sense (being sea sick is an example of those two senses giving different information to the brain). Many learning difficulties or interruptions can be traced back to processing of this sense.
You’ll notice a lot of variations in the way children cope with the different amounts of vestibular input.
Some kids LOOOVE to bounce wildly up & down & go round and round the bar, while others are very cautious with even just a little movement and a forward roll is a big achievement.
Either way children need to experience lots of ‘vestibular’ activities for their developing brains to make sense of their world!
Stability and a confidence in processing this constant feedback is vital to being able to focus and learn. “Children need to master their stability before being able to pay attention to & stay focused on other learning opportunities”
- How we see/understand & perceive the world how we connect & communicate
- How fluently our bodies move & master our surrounds
- How information, memories & knowledge are stored in our brain
- Crucial foundations for more complex learning & behaviour
Knowing where your kids vestibular sense is at on the scale of hyper (too much ) or hypo ( give me more) can be as simple as watching their facial expressions and their body language. It might be small & subtle, hesitant/tense shoulders/standing back, or a very clear “no thank you not today!” Knowing their sensory needs goes a long way to understanding how to best approach your child’s learning style!
Our coaches are constantly looking to see where your child’s processing is at and adjusting their learning and challenges to suit, often modifying the activity for them to process the input & engage successfully.
Our Easter theme with its bouncing bunnies and rolling eggs has so many great vestibular opportunities. Combing all of this with our focused beam egg & spoon walks, this theme is the ultimate brain grower!
Thanks for moving with us!