Make kids smarter using these 7 simple brain gym exercises!

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Make kids smarter: These extremely simple exercises can boost brain function and make kids sharper, smarter and much more confident!

The mind and the body are more related than we think. A healthy mind lives in a healthy body. 

Some extremely simple exercises can boost brain function and make kids sharper, smarter and much more confident. These exercises are known as brain gym exercises. 

Dr. Paul Dennison, created these series of Brain Gym® movements to directly target and stimulate the brain, and help a child reach her potential.

These exercises are short and easy activities teachers or parents can do with children, to release stress and enhance learning. They are generally fun movements that are designed to engage and activate the brain.

And yes, these exercises can benefit adults too!

Here then are 7 exercises that will help make kids smarter!

Cross crawls

How to do:

  • The child should stand up straight.
  • Lift the left knee, and touch the left knee using the right elbow or hand (crossing the midline of body).
  • Similarly lift the right knee, and touch the right knee using the left elbow or hand.
  • Repeat for about 2 minutes.

Make sure that the movements are slow and accurate, and not rushed through.

Benefits: 

  • This exercise improves communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain and helps in higher level reasoning (critical thinking, problem solving etc).
  • It enhances the child’s attention and mental coordination.

Lazy 8s 

How to do:

  • Use your right thumb to draw a sideways 8 or infinity symbol in the air.
  • Children should focus on their thumb while drawing.
  • Repeat using the left thumb.
  • This exercise can be practised on paper too.

Benefits: 

  • The exercise helps improve the child’s reading speed, eye-muscles coordination, and peripheral vision. It also activates the child’s creative side and loosens the muscles of his arm and wrist.
  • Many people have found over time that reading and writing are easier after practising Lazy 8s for just a few minutes.
  • It also helps the child think more clearly, relax and calm, improves hand-eye co-ordination, and improves visual tracking.

Hook ups

How to do:

  • This exercise can be done standing, sitting or lying down.
  • The child should cross one ankle over the other (legs always straight).
  • Now, stretch out the arms and cross them in front of the body.
  • As they are crossed, have the palms of the right and left hands turn to each other and lock fingers.
  • Loop the hands underneath the arms and pull the arms close to the chest.

Benefits: 

  • This exercise promotes mind and body relaxation.
  • Hook-Ups are specifically used for children or adults who have great amounts of stress, anxiety, meltdowns or sensory overload.
  • It’s a great activity to calm the body and help your child control his breathing. 

Brain buttons

How to do:

  • Stand up straight.
  • Fold the fingers of one hands into a ‘C’ shape. Place the thumb and index finger of this hand directly under the collar bone (clavicle).
  • Place the other hand over the navel (bellybutton).
  • Now gently rub both the upper and lower body parts together in a small, circular motion.

Benefits: 

  • Brain buttons are meant to stimulate blood flow to the brain.
  • It helps to awaken the child and helps him stay alert, especially if he is feeling sluggish or fidgety or low in energy.
  • It helps the child to concentrate and focus.

The Thinking Cap

How to do:

  • Using the thumb and index finger of both hands, gently pull and unroll the outer part of the ear, starting from the top and slowly moving towards the lobe.
  • Remember to always start from the top.

Benefits:

  • Thinking Cap helps in improving the child’s hearing, peripheral vision, and short-term memory.

Elephant trunk

How to do:

Stand erect. Hold your hand against your ear (resembling an elephant’s trunk). Draw the infinity symbol with the arm. Follow the movement of the arm. 

Repeat and switch sides.

Benefits:

  • It stimulates the brain, and improves the child’s thinking ability, short- and long-term memory, and attention.
  • The movements activate the child’s mind and body balance, and encourages the brain to listen to the words correctly.

Double doodle

How to do:

  • Use 2 similarly sized pencils or pens for this activity.
  • Sketch two images simultaneously with both hands.

Benefits:

  • This activity works both sides of the brain, and strengthens coordination between the left and right sides of the brain.
  • It encourages your kid’s learning skills and improves spelling accuracy, math calculation speed and recognition of writing symbols. 

Also READ: 5 Tips for raising smart and emotionally stable kids

General Kids School-age Child Development