See Saw for the Vestibular System

 

2014  A YEAR OF NEUROSCIENCE

KEY MESSAGES


ENGAGING FAMILIES

IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT STORY

KEY MESSAGES

KEY MESSAGE 5

THE BRAIN DEVELOPS THROUGH USE
The brain relies on experiences for growth and development. 
The brain does not change unless it is stimulated by the environment. 
There are some critical periods where particular areas of the brain are more highly sensitive to environmental cues, accelerating growth.

Critical periods have been identified for the development of hearing and the vestibular system.

WHAT IS THE VESTIBULAR SYSTEM? 


The vestibular system refers to structures within the inner ear (the semi-circular canals) that detect movement and changes in the position of the head.  
For example, the vestibular system tells you when your head is upright or tilted
(even with your eyes closed).
The vestibular system is highly developed in the early years of life as toddlers and children are playing on merry-go-rounds, see-saws, monkey bars and swings.  



These toys can all be found in playgrounds. Games like rocking up and down on your dad's knee and playing “rocket launcher” in the swimming pool all stimulate the vestibular system.



Jumping Castles and trampolines are popular amongst kids and they become obsessed with these games and toys.  All of these focus on inversion, foot/hand precision, rapid change of direction, and strength to enhance our vestibular system.

 

The Butterfly Wings Rhyme of the Month is

A ROCKING RHYME

SEE SAW

Chant with rocking beat





See Saw – up and down
(Child on your lap and rocking forwards and backwards)

Little (child’s name) is going to town
See Saw – side to side
(Child on your lap and rocking side to side)

Little (child’s name) is going for a ride
See Saw – Bumpity Bump
(Child on your lap and bump them up and down)

Little (child’s name) is going to.............
JUMP!!
(Lift your child in the air!)



This rhyme will become a favourite with your child as you rock up and down and side to side and lift them high in the air at the end.  All children under five years old should be moving and playing for a minimum of three hours a day.  The different movements in this rhyme will exercise the vestibular system as they rock in different ways.


After a few times of chanting this rhyme, your child will be able to predict the end of the rhyme when they are lifted in the air. Make the hesitation longer and longer and you will experience your child getting all excited – even preverbal – and older children will shout out JUMP!!
This will help build their prediction skills – a very useful reading skill.

Rough and tumble play with your child is one of the best ways to spend time with your child to help develop social and emotional skills – so long as it is safe!!  This is a great pre-cursor to rough and tumble play and you can fall over on the floor and do lots of tickling at the end of the rhyme.



There are lots of language concepts in this chant – up, down, side, bumping – leading to increased understanding and vocabulary development.


Early childhood is a critical time for children to be laughing and learning to build up the neural pathways in the brain related to social and emotional development and early literacy.  This is a fun chant to assist with this essential learning. 



BUTTERFLY WINGS WORDS OF WISDOM

 

PLEASE NOTE - Some ideas and activities sourced from the 2012 Children’s Week Challenges, Queensland Health Early Years Initiative, Browns Plains Community Health, Brisbane

Ref: The neuroscience review from the first stage of the Engaging Families in the Early Childhood Development Story identified a number of child development statements – Key Messages - to share with parents and the community.  The child development statements convey evidence about the importance of the early years
Ref: A toolkit for working with families from pre-birth to 8 years ARACY


REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN AND ENJOY BEING WITH EACH OTHER.  
TIME IS THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE A CHILD.