So why a “Dizzy Giddy”?...Spinning (and rocking, swaying, swinging, rolling) is a very important balance activity which stimulates the ‘vestibular system’. The semi-circular canals and the vestibular system, which are situated within the inner ear, are responsible for the development of the body's balance. Inside the semi-circular canals are ‘cilia’ (tiny hairs) that stand up when regularly stimulated. Fluid washes over the cilia and nerve endings inside the ear, sending the brain messages of balance and imbalance. If there is little ‘vestibular’ movement, the cilia lie down and as a result, motion can become a problem for children. Children of all ages need constant daily stimulation of the vestibular system. Muscle tone, muscle coordination, eye development, body awareness and spatial awareness also play a vital role in balance. There are many ways you can enhance your child’s exposure to spinning activities that stimulate the vestibular system. It is recommended that when spinning, move slowly at approximately 1 revolution per 8 seconds. The Dizzy Giddy is perfect for this! Never spin for more than 1 minute...little and often is best. When spinning, always unwind by spinning the other way.
Reference:- Crowe, R. & Connell, G. (2003). Moving to Learn. Christchurch: The Caxton Press. This is a great book.
As stated in the “Getting Ready for School” DVD (available at Kindergarten), good balance is important. It helps children to stay still when sitting, standing and lying. Really important skills especially when in a formal classroom situation.