Our Senses


  • Time Length
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    < 1 hour

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

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Toss the pieces of string or ribbon around the area to be “discovered” – one for each person who is playing. Read the book “The Squiggle”. Explore the area. When you find a squiggle cry out, “Look! Squiggles!” Then you and your playmates grab them and begin to twirl, run, dance, tie, twist, pull, toss….get swept up in the fun. If you do not have or cannot get a copy of the book, just plant the “squiggles”, discover them, model what to do and let the fun begin!

Question and Wonder:

  • What is a Squiggle?
  • What can it be? How does it move? Feel?

Imagine and Design:

  • Make designs on the ground with your squiggle. What did you make?
  • How does holding the squiggle change the way you move? Why?
  • Try drawing designs in the air with your squiggle. Is it windy? Still? How did that change what you were doing?

Test and Discuss:

  • What were all the things you did with your squiggle?
  • Make up story about the “Squiggle’s” adventures and share it with your friends and family.
  • Make up a squiggle dance. What are the steps? Teach it to someone and dance together!

Did you Know?

*The vestibular system is one of our senses. Centered in the inner ear, the vestibular system is triggered when we change the position of our heads. Moving the head in any direction activates the vestibular receptors and sends information which helps our brain to know where we are in space and how we are moving.

Why is the vestibular system important?

We use vestibular input and the vestibular system to support our balance and muscle tone—something we need for all movement and even to maintain our posture when we are sitting still. If you have ever had an inner ear infection, you know how important this sense is and how important balance is to all activity and our experience of the world.

In addition to balance, the vestibular system supports the spatial awareness we need to move about without stumbling, falling or bumping into other things or even other friends.

We also rely on the vestibular system to coordinate our eye movements. We can look down at a book, then look up to speak with someone and adjust our focus back and forth thanks to the vestibular system. Eye and head coordination also help us use both visual, proprioceptive, and vestibular input to navigate successfully as we move.

Perhaps surprisingly, our vestibular system also plays a central role in attention and focus.

These increases in focus are due, in large part, to the extra vestibular input your brain has received from the movement. Because vestibular input helps us to become and stay alert, it impacts our use of all other senses and our ability to learn overall.

“In order to create actual changes to the sensory system that results in improved attention over time, children NEED to experience what we call “rapid vestibular (balance) input” on a daily basis. In other words, they need to go upside down, spin in circles, and roll down hills.”— Angela Hanscom

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