Friday, November 20, 2009

Exploramania's Exploracise® GyMathtics®, a TOS Crew Review

Math. Healthy Lifestyle Choices. Low impact aerobic exercise.

We need all three of them. And Exploromania gives us all three in a 25 minute DVD for elementary school-aged children called Exploracise® GyMathtics®. Exploromania sent me, at no charge, this DVD so that I can review the product for you here on my blog.

I'm a huge fan of movement and learning. I was privileged to attend a workshop with Smart Moves author and brain physiology expert Carla Hannaford, Ph.D. not too long after the realization that one of my children was developmentally delayed related to a regression into an autism diagnosis.

Movement and learning are intimately connected -- we all need them both, and we learn better when there's a component of movement involved.

Exploracise® GyMathtics® gives you both in an exercise DVD priced at $24.99. According to the clock/counter on my DVD player, the routine is 25 minutes long. The routine is divided into four parts, "Shape StretchesTM Warm Up", "Counting CalistehenicsTM", Pattern PowerTM" and "Well-Being Wind DownTM" Exploramania provides a three-minute sample of the video on their home page.

The actors on the tape range in age from a first grader to a college student, but the tape is a bit to "little-kid-ish" for my "big kids". For a child with autism, where processing multiple "channels" of information simultaneously can be quite challenging, this DVD can be overwhelming. Following the movements (using a non-verbal "channel"), skip counting (a verbal "channel") and listening to the math facts or health tips all at the same time is a lot -- sometimes too much, too overwhelming, for a child who is learning to navigate several "channels" simultaneously. Playing the video with the sound low may be an option for children who are overwhelmed with too much at once. For my homeschooler, some of the facts are a bit too much at this time (developmentally inappropriate, but we're getting there!) and the healthy lifestyle choices and facts in the voice over during the "wind down" are annoying to this mom.

GyMathtics is cute, it's low impact, and the workout is do-able for young children or children with motor planning challenges. There are no moves that I'd consider tricky or difficult. You get to sneak in some math through a "back door" -- you're not sitting at a table and it does not look like "school", which is a huge bonus for a lot of families. If you're looking for a low-impact exercise routine that you and your child can do together, check out the samples on the web site and consider this DVD.

To read what my Crewmates have to say about this product, please click HERE.

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