Day 6 Eyes
Photo by Wilco Van Meppelen on Unsplash
Eyes, horizon, and balance
Eyes are a major factor in balance. Among other things, they help us define the horizon - think about an x-axis that allows us to know where we are in space (gravity as a plumb line would act as a y-axis)
- You can try this quite easily for yourself by standing on one leg (or in any other position that is challenging your balance). Now close the eyes and do the same thing. You will find it is more difficult.
- Get yourself a pair of glasses - any reading- or sunglasses will do - and smear some cream on them, leaving only a spot about the size of the fingertip of your pinky free, somewhere around the outside frame of your glasses. Try looking "straight-ahead", and you will find that you adapt your whole posture to the field of vision. Now try lifting one arm as easily as possible, then the other. You will find that you move much easier on one side than the other. These effects are not related to movements themselves, but to the visual information our nervous system requires.
- Usually, a child will try to keep the head rather still, eyes parallel to the floor, and move the body underneath.
- Try turning - it is much easier in a direction we are able to see.
Even if children seem to have no visual problems I often see that their eyes are rigid and fixed - you will experience the same effect while standing on one leg. Getting them to blink often (by moving an object like a soft shawl or hand closer to their eyes) can improve the fluidity of movement.
A child should be able to move its eyes independently of the body in any position. Please go back to the lesson about the eyes (Week 3 Day 1) and watch the video again if needed. Maybe you might just repeat it as shown in lying on the back. If that is easy, try to repeat the lesson in the most advanced position your child is usually in (standing, sitting, on all fours?) and move the toy there. Alternatively, you might find that your child is able to coordinate its eyes well in one position, but starts to go cross-eyed in more challenging movements. Go back to a position your child is still able to coordinate its eyes in and practice there.