In “BRING BACK THE MERRY-GO-ROUND: It is a therapeutic tool,” Angela Hanscom, an “occupational therapist” for children, writes:
As a child, I loved the merry-go-round! It was such a thrill. I remember holding on to the metal posts as we ran around and around, finally jumping onto the merry-go-round at the last second, hanging on for “dear life” as we experienced the thrill and funny sensation only the merry-go-round could provide. As a therapist, I believe the merry-go-round is one of the most powerful therapeutic pieces of playground equipment ever invented.Interesting. That adds more to the idea that mind is for movement.
Pediatric occupational therapists use special equipment and swings to create a centrifugal force during treatment sessions very similar to what a child would experience if they were to ride a merry-go-round. We do this to maximize activation to the vestibular complex found in the inner ear, to help improve self-regulation and sustained attention to task in children. This is a very powerful tool, and if done on a regular basis, would strengthen that child’s vestibular (balance) system and improve their attention span over time.
I’m constantly hearing from teachers that attention in the classroom is problem. One teacher told me that on average, eight out of her twenty-two children have trouble with attention on a good day. Veteran teachers are also complaining that kids are falling out of their seats at school, running into walls, and are overall clumsier than they were thirty years ago.
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