By Karla Sánchez, based on the work of Luz Maria Ibarra and her book “Aprende mejor con Gimnasia Cerebral.”
These exercises connect both hemispheres and help prepare
mind and body to learn. They also stimulate creativity.
Duration: 1 – 5 minutes each Suitability: Appropriate for all class levels. Materials: None
Nose and Ear
- Ask children to grab their nose with their left hand whilst grabbing their left earlobe with their right hand. Make sure they grab their ear and nose with a light touch using their index finger and thumb.
- Ask them to clasp their hands.
- Ask them to repeat as before the nose and ear grabbing from the first step, but his time grabbing their nose with their right hand and their right earlobe with their left hand.
- Repeat 5 – 10 times.
Triangles and Sticks
- Invite children to draw a stick with both hands. Starting at the top, they have to use their hands or index fingers to draw a stick vertically downwards. Then they should return to the top. Each stick requires them to perform two movements. Let them practice this several times with their left hand mirroring the actions of their right hand.
- Ask them to practice drawing triangles with both hands. Starting at the top, they have to use their hands or index fingers to draw right angle triangles. Then they have to return to the starting position at the top. Each triangle requires them to perform three movements. Let them practice several times with their left hand mirroring the actions of their right hand.
- Once they have mastered mirroring each side let them try some bilaterally asymmetrical movements. For a count of six, starting with both hands at the top, ask them to draw three sticks with one hand and two triangles with the opposite hand. On the sixth count both hands need to return to
the starting position at the top.
- Ask them to repeat but using the opposite hands to perform their triangles and sticks.
- Repeat making triangles as big as possible, then as small as possible.
These connect the entire brain, activate the neural terminals and stimulate creativity.
- Ask students to repeat each movement three times. They have to make sure to finish the exercise at the point where they started.
- Ask children to move their eyes (the
eyes only, not the head) in circles,
starting from the right. After they do it
three times they have to do circles in
the opposite direction. Movement 2
- Invite students to draw triangles with
their eyes, starting at the top, then
moving to the left, then the right and
back to the top. Once they have done
it three times they need to do them in
the opposite direction. Movement 3
- Ask students to draw a square with
the eyes. Three times in one direction,
three times in the other. Movement 4
- Invite children to draw an “X” with
their eyes, three times in one direction, three times in the other.
Tense and Relax
This exercise helps reduce stress and improves concentration.
- Invite students to sit comfortably, with their back straight,
without crossing the legs.
- Ask them to tense the muscles of the feet, put the heels
together, then the knees, then tense their legs, their stomach,
their chest and their shoulders.
- Ask them to make fists with their hands, tense their hands
and their arms. Then their necks, mouths, teeth, eyes, even
tensing the scalp.
- Once their entire body is completely tense, invite them to
breath in, hold for ten seconds, while they continue to tense
- After those ten seconds let the air out while relaxing every
part of the body.
This exercise aids the memory, it also activates the auditive
- Ask children to take their own ears by their top ends, gently.
- Ask them to slowly pull up and backwards, taking care not
to hurt themselves.
- Invite them to hold the position for twenty seconds.
- Take a brief break.
- Repeat three times.