Hearts-at-play_Logo-move-learn-bloomThis resource site, Hearts at Play ~ Move, Learn, Bloom, is here to provide the educational philosophy of learning through movement and connection, as delineated in our work as movement educators—which work includes Educational Kinesiology and the Brain Gym® and Vision Gym® programs. Our site further provides a forum for like-minded thinkers and educators from various disciplines who also advocate development of the whole person. These experts understand learning as immediate and multidimensional­—not just as information input but as a part of self-care and wellness that is integral to the building of community and applicable to people of all ages and abilities.

Movement is crucial to every other brain function, including memory, language, and learning. Our “higher” brain functions have evolved from movement and depend on it.

–John J. Ratey, MD
A User’s Guide to the Brain

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Educational Kinesiology (Edu-K for short) is a comprehensive and enjoyable learning-skills program for people of all ages who want to experience intrinsic mastery of their subject. “Educational” comes from the Latin word educere, which means to draw out, lead forth, or educe. “Kinesiology,” from the Greek root kinesis (the production of motion), means the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement. Educational Kinesiology is a system, then, for empowering learners to notice how they move so they can draw out their innate potential.  Read More

In the early 1980s, Dr. Paul E. Dennison and his wife and collaborator, Gail E. Dennison, created Educational Kinesiology (Edu-K) – enhanced learning through movement. The Dennison’s’ visionary insight led them to develop the unique learning-readiness program known as Brain Gym®, which offers the introductory elements of the Edu-K work: the 26 core Brain Gym® activities. Today, people of all ages use these simple, powerful activities to enhance their visual, auditory, and kinesthetic skills for easier and more pleasurable learning. Read more

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The Brain Gym® program provides beginners with the essence of Educational Kinesiology (learning through movement). The 26 simple Brain Gym activities, included in the course “Brain Gym 101: Balance for Daily Life,” are used in schools worldwide, and are the most well-known part of the work. The activities, each taking about 20 seconds to do, lengthen tense muscles, organize action around the body’s midline, and emphasize varied skills of stability, mobility, self-calming, and sensorimotor coordination. The 26 employ both large- and small-motor skills for coordination of eyes and hands, ease of head turning, skimming and scanning, and moving the whole body in centered alignment.  Read more

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Engaging Children in the Classroom with Music and Play

Paul and I are delighted to be offering this guest blog from Laura Walter, a workshop leader for Education Through Music (ETM). Laura, a dear friend and fellow advocate of learning through movement and play, first told me about ETM in 2003. Paul and I were delighted to discover in ETM like-minded thinkers and movers, focused on providing play and cross-lateral experiences (walking, skipping, hand-crossing) for self-actualizing learners within a community-building setting. We soon realized that this was the same program that author and educator Joseph Chilton Pearce had recommended that we look into. It turns out that Pearce had recommended the Brain Gym® work to the ETM group, as well, including both programs as experiences he favored for the developing child. We have since played many song games with our ETM friends, and highly commend this enlivening program. —Gail

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How Reading Is Like Playing Soccer

Ramon, 11, walked into my office with a positive attitude, ready to learn. He was there with his mother, to get help with his reading. I told him that our session would be about him and his life, and that his immediate goal could include more than reading comprehension. When I mentioned sports, his eyes lit up. “Can you help me with soccer? I’d really like to do better when I play.”

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