The human body uses five senses — taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell — to send information to the brain, where it is then processed and acted upon. For some children, they have either too much information coming in or too little. This can be overwhelming and/or confusing for the child, causing them to respond in a way that sets them apart from their peers. For example, they may become hyper or conversely, they may shut down and disengage. I feel the best way to help children organize, attend, focus, and understand the world around them, is to provide opportunities through play and movement.
I feel the best way to help children organize, attend, focus, and understand the world around them, is to provide opportunities through play and movement. Lynn DeSalvo, Speech-Language Pathologist
One tool I use when working with children is a song called, “Two Hands Up.” In an earlier blog post, I detailed how to use this song with children, what to look for, etc. Today, I’m going to show two versions of “Two Hands Up” showcasing how to work with a child displaying high-energy or low-energy.
This activity helps with tactile (touch), proprioceptive (body awareness), visual (sight), auditory (hearing), oral motor (mouth movement), motor planning (general movement) as well as bilateral coordination and crossing the midline (ability to use both sides of the body at the same time).
This song is used a bit differently in group situations, which I will share in a later blog.
As you can see, the same song used with slight variations, was able to draw the child in, increase her eye contact, attention and focus. It was also beginning to regulate her body and energy levels.
By using touch (squeezing and patting) on her arms and legs I was able to create more sensory awareness as well as observe what is more reinforcing to her (light touch, deep pressure, or a combination of both).
By moving slowly at the end of the song to calm the body (student video #1) and moving fast to heighten/”wake up” the body (student video #2) you can enable the student to be in a favorable state for learning.
Who would think such a simple song could provide you with so many insights?
Discover other ways this song works for you and your child and please share!