I love a good book and summer is a great time to read, especially on…
It’s been a busy Autumn Term for me and my family – illnesses, injury, big work projects, Halloween and Bonfire Night to name just a few things impacting on our family’s ability to be calm and rested at the minute!
All of these issues have made it more difficult to find the opportunity to spend quality time with my kids and make creative fun together. However, now we’re starting to ease off a little and heal, we’ve finally managed to do a few activities that we can share with you today.
My daughter Maisie has become a bit obsessed with closing her eyes and moving around – invariably with lots of obstacles to negotiate! Last night she created a game where you had to travel from one side of the room with your eyes closed WITHOUT standing on the lines between the floor tiles. It’s a lot harder than I was expecting! And then we tried out both moving towards each other with our eyes closed – could we get to the other side of the room without bumping into each other? Oh my goodness that one was SO much fun and surprisingly we were quite successful at it!
Here’s me having a go
Here’s a version you can try out too.
Activity 1: walking with eyes closed
- An empty space with no hard / sharp obstacles nearby
- Stand at one edge of the space you are using
- Close your eyes
- Begin walking forwards – how far can you go without peeking or stopping?
- You may want to walk with your hands out in front of you to stop yourself walking into a door or wall!
- Ask someone else in your family to have a go
- Discuss your experiences afterwards – how did it feel? What did you notice? What did you like / dislike about having your eyes closed?
After watching Maisie last night, I started thinking about WHY she is doing this so much at the minute. I’m guessing that what she is probably doing is tuning into her other senses and developing her hearing and sixth sense to work out where she is in the space and how to navigate around it. And it’s a new, fun experience so why not? (as long as she keeps herself safe of course!).
And then I started googling it (as you do!) to see if there were any other reasons or benefits to closing your eyes. It turns out there are!…
Memory recall – studies show that by closing the eyes and blocking out distractions you actually free up the brain to remember important information. Maisie often does this eye closing game just before bed time. I wonder whether she is also taking the opportunity to process and make sense of what has been going on for her during her day?
Listening – according to research in The Guardian, if you close your eyes during a conversation, you are much more likely to tune in to the speaker’s emotions. Perhaps when children close their eyes, they are are working on their interpersonal skills?
Balance – doing pretty much any physical task is much harder with your eyes closed. Try balancing on one leg with your eyes open and then closed – which is harder? For me it’s definitely with the eyes closed!!! Our brains don’t receive the orientation information we get from our eyes which makes it much harder to balance and move without visual feedback. Maybe Maisie is working on her core strength and coordination when she closes her eyes?
And I also discovered information online about something I was fascinated by as a child, but no idea that it had a name – the shapes and colours you can see when you close your eyes after looking at something bright is called an ‘after-image’. Apparently this happens because the light sensitive ‘rods’ in your eyes become ‘depolarised’ and then have to be ‘repolarised’ before they can be used again. Science is amazing! Perhaps when children close their eyes they are enjoying these after-images – just make sure they (and you) don’t look directly into the sun or a bright light when trying this out.
We’ll be featuring lots more fun creative activities for you and your family to try out soon including…creativity in the school holidays and using words and stories.
And our children’s creative classes will be starting up again in the New Year – watch out for more information soon!