Purpose: To assist in early development of bilaterality sense, awareness, and control.
Introduction: This is a very simple technique for use primarily with young children and can serve as an entry point for gross motor skills work. In short, the child physically balls up and tenses his muscles, holding that position momentarily before ‘exploding’ outwards with the limbs in a control and bilaterally symmetrical manner.
1. Lie on her back with blindfold in place.
2. Clench fists.
3. Place forearms together on chest with elbows touching.
4. Pull knees up and bring face close to the knees, touching if possible.
5. Tighten all muscles to tense up ‘like a tight ball’.
6. Hold for a count of 3-2-1 then EXPLODE! Encourage the child to be very animated when exploding while trying to throw arms and legs out evenly left and right. They can even say ‘explode!’ or ‘kapow!’ or whatever they like.
7. The child should be completely relaxed in the ‘exploded’ position.
8. Repeat this exercise with only the right eye covered.
9. Repeat this exercise with only the left eye covered.
10. Repeat with both eyes uncovered. Have the child really focus on throwing arms and legs out in a controlled, smooth, and even fashion.
Loading: Consider try this exercise but slowing things down gradually until the limbs are moving very slowly, perhaps taking 15 seconds to fully ‘explode’. This may be an appropriate entry point for older children who are likely to have these skills; if they can do this activity slowly and evenly across all four limbs, move on to something more challenging.