This chapter gets into the nitty-gritty of exercises, and suggestions for movement in order to further develop the vestibular system.
Vestibular – exercises are recommended around three types of stimulation: horizontal movement around a vertical plans, such as spinning and rolling; vertical movement around a horizontal plane such as swings and see saws, along with cartwheels and handstands; and tilting and rebound kinds of movement such as trampolines, wobble boards. Position whilst doing these activities also counts – whether they are performed lying down, sitting, crawling, walking, kneeling.
For the Baby - “When awake and physically separated from its mother, the baby’s next natural playground is the floor. It is from the ground that a child can learn to develop muscle tone as an opposing force to gravity.” The author points out that infants should experience both passive movement through being carried in a sling or carrier and active movement on the floor. The baby should always lead. Suggestions in this part of the chapter included gentle vestibular stimulation, developing monocular vision by breastfeeding or changing sides when bottle feeding, play on the tummy and the back as well and social play with the mother. Swimming, singing and talking and less use of baby equipment is also mentioned.
“The mother provides the child with his first mirror on the world and research indicates that this primal relationship plays an important part in developing connections to centres in the brain that will be involved in regulation of emotions and impulses later in life. It is important that motherhood is valued in a rapidly-changing society.”
Touch – massage, games such as “This Little Piggy Went To Market”, patting, and time spent on the back are important components of touch. For older children, playing eyes with the eyes closed and touch can stimulate this sense as well – the child has his or her eyes closed, you touch an arm or leg and the child tries to touch exactly where you touched.
Sound – Hum, dance, sing, gently tap or rock to a beat, sing familiar tunes but put in words about what you all are doing, tell simple stories.
There are 21 exercises in this chapter that are illustrated for the use of the parents as done through a story with movement activities (geared toward ages 3 and a half to 6 years of age).
This has been an interesting book to look at chapter by chapter!
Hope you enjoyed it.