5 simple movement activities to help stimulate the vestibular system
1. Put a rocking chair in your classroom and let the children use it
2. Slow marching in a line
3. Slow rocking either sitting or lying tummy-down on a yoga ball
4. Log rolls
5. Jumping in place or across the floor
It’s ironic the vestibular system is of such vital importance to learning and behavior because we only think of it when it’s not functioning correctly.
The Vestibular system, our body’s gravity sensor and balance mechanism, is responsible for maintaining balance, posture and the body’s orientation in space. It also regulates walking, running and other movements and keeps objects in visual focus as we move about.
Because our vestibular system plays a significant role in filtering and fine-tuning all sensory information before it enters the brain, symptoms of dysfunction are represented by and often mistaken for challenges with vision, hearing, balance, sense of motion, sense of time, learning, behavior and emotional regulation.
If you think of learning in terms of building a house, the vestibular system is the foundation. If the proper foundation has not been laid, the house will never be secure or strong enough to support walls and a roof. If our vestibular system is not functioning properly, learning is difficult and we will always struggle to reach our full potential.