LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
More gadgets and toys
Educational toys for coordination
Teaching children to skip (coordination), jump rope, and dribble with each hand individually (ordination) are three of the most important skills you can teach children to help their reading. It's true, and scientists have known this for some time. It has to do with organizing the brain and building connections.
"Any problems with either ordination or coordination has a direct influence on the sensory system," explains Dr. Mengert. "In reality, the only contact the brain has with the outside world is communicated through the sensorial. It is, therefore, critical that the vestibular system provide a stable foreground for accurate interaction with the sensory system on which the brain is dependent."
Equipment for developing ordination and coordination skills is inexpensive, and kids really love it. You can even practice while learning words in sight word games like the
Dribbling a ball with each hand separately for a sustained period of time establishes a steady beat as well. It is important to note that this activity is an individual activity and that it should be done while standing in one place. It is not basketball!
These balls are perfect, too, for
word wall relays
at the word wall.
Crossing the Midline
Students who are cross dominant have dominant hand and eye on opposite sides of the body. This almost always causes difficulty at the midline and problems when reading. (I am right-handed with left eye dominant, so I have first-hand experience, if you will pardon the pun.)
The following games are all very good for helping build connections in the brain by crossing the
Our occupational therapist suggested that I use laser pointers and have students follow mine as it traveled about the room. It requires very close supervision and must be done in small groups, but the kids love it, and the mouse pointers are perfect for this activity, too.
Another activity she suggested is blowing bubbles and having students reach across the midline (when possible) with the pointer finger of their dominant hand to pop them. This is a big hit with children, too.