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Top to Bottom Brain-Building Exercises for Organization and Emotional Grounding
This article contains top to bottom exercises for helping your child with emotional grounding and organization. Affiliate links are included for your convenience. Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.
Many children who have learning challenges sometimes struggle with organization, emotional grounding, difficulties with behavior and high-anxiety. There are even those students who are academically advanced, but their emotions are difficult for them to control. Typically these children have disconnections with the top to bottom parts of their brain, which controls their emotions. This can cause children to have anxiety when taking tests, fight or flight responses, trouble expressing their emotions and they sometimes lack personal boundaries.
If your child’s brain is not wired top to bottom you may notice their hands and feet don’t work well together and they are clumsy. In addition, their hands may not coordinate well with their eyes either, which may cause trouble with reading, writing and self-expression.
Top to bottom exercises can help regulate the part of the brain that controls your child’s emotions. They help your child feel relaxed and safe, they release the fight or flight responses and they allow your child to respond rationally instead of emotionally.
Top to Bottom Exercises
Here are some activities to try at home with your children that may help improve their academic and emotional state for higher learning development. To complete these exercises, ensure the top area of your child’s body enters the space of the bottom part of your child’s body. For best results, repeat exercises 10 times at least three to five times a week.
For this activity you will need a small ball. Have your child take the ball in their hands and bend over and touch the ball to the ground. You’ll want your child’s legs shoulder-width a part. Have them touch the ball in front of them, then the middle, then behind their legs.
We want the top and bottom parts of the body in sync with each other to improve their timing and rhythm. Put a piece of tape across the floor like a pretend balance beam. Have your child walk across it heel to toe. While walking across it, have them raise their right hand above their head as they step, then switch to their left hand as they switch feet. You can use ribbon sticks with this exercise to make it more fun.
With a weighted bar, have your child raise the bar over their head and then touch the bar all the way down to the floor, making sure the top parts of your child’s body goes into the space of the bottom part of the body.
Leg and Arm Bends
Have your child sit on a sensory wobble ball while holding the weighted bar in their hands. Ask your child to stick their feet in front of them (off the floor) with their arms extended over their head with the weighted bar. Then bring the bar to their chest while they pull their legs to their chest.
Use tape to create a fake balance beam on the floor. Have your child walk across the balance beam heel to toe. While they walk across the balance beam, have your child clap their hands at the same time. They must clap at the same time their foot is stepping.
Top to Bottom Exercises for Emotional Grounding
To promote better learning development and emotional grounding, you can try more top to bottom exercises at home. These exercises cross over both the top and bottom parts of the body, which separates your both in half. It is the imaginary midline, called the transverse midline that can help your child’s brain stabilize their emotions, timing, rhythm and learning.
As you monitor your child’s development, if you notice your child has issues with their emotions, behavior, tantrums, attention, self-regulation and logical thinking, they may need additional top to bottom exercises to help their learning behavior in the classroom. You may also continue to notice delays in your child’s learning or side effects that can cause emotional instability, toe walking, W-sitting, bedwetting, poor balance and coordination, underdeveloped vestibular and proprioceptive systems, and trouble with motor planning. If your child struggles with any number of these issues, it could be an indication that the nervous system is underdeveloped.
If you still feel your child has not developed the necessary skills for learning readiness, there is more you can do to help.
The Integrated Movement Activity Center provides parents and therapists with step-by-step videos to strengthen all areas of the body and the brain. Parents and professionals can use the activity center to help their kids and students “awaken” the brain for higher learning development.
For more information or to enroll, click here.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs