Call it cognitive overload.
Call it dendrite building.
The drill is to jump as far as you can, like a kangaroo.
Then do it again.
Until you get to the end.
Turn around and do it back.
Ah yes, jumping.
Here is John trying to be a kangaroo, in a taekwondo warmup exercise.
Jumping jacks or high-knees running in place are equally challenging (and entertaining to watch).
A good 2-footed launch.
Like a 2-year old has.
Except John was easily 6 before he could get both feet off the ground together.
And back then we had to practice a long time, jumping on a large white exercise ball, to gain the underlying skills.
We also embedded social engagement, expressive speech, and shameless use of a preferred stim.
This is how Rosemary taught me, and how you can do it at home with your child:
Wedge with your knee a big exercise ball into a corner.
Like a small domed wobbly trampoline.
Tell your child to climb up on top, only supported (barely) by your two index fingers
(stick out only your index finger on each hand and let him hold on).
Make him count 20 good jumps, launching from both feet simultaneously.
At the same time, he counts each jump out loud, while you look each other in the eyes.
After 20, he gets to do one thing he loves (like open a cabinet door).
After another 20, he gets to close that door.
Eventually your child will build the muscles, the dendrites and the confidence to take both feet off the ground at the same time.
Because now they know where their body is and where the floor is.
Jumping, in all its forms, builds many forms of body confidence.
It also naturally shifts the child forward into fine motor and oral motor skills.
So, try this at home with your kids?
You will be helping them move forward in their learning.
At a very reasonable cost.
Peace be with us,