Fast or Slow?

By Activity Bank on Jul 01, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Vickie Brennan, Flo Ryu, and Dennis Lolli and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

This activity is designed to help the teacher to identify a means to reinforce vestibular stimulation (that is, activities related to balance), by observing students’ responses to different stimuli. Students will show they prefer a specific activity by smiling or laughing, or by moving toward the teacher with their hand or body, after the vestibular movement has ended. Lessons include Orientation and Mobility.


  • Rocking or swinging equipment (swing, hammock, blanket held by two adults)
  • Office chair that turns or swivels
  • Rocking chair


The student and adult are positioned next to each other, in a way that both can move in the same direction. The adult will begin the cycle of slow rocking motions and then stop the activity. If the student shows positive changes in affect or gestures for more movement, the teacher can continue to use this activity to reinforce vestibular stimulation. If there are no positive changes or gestures, the teacher can move on to a different activity.Hammock


  • Rock front to back in slow and then faster movements.
  • Rock side to side in fast movements.
  • Sit the student in an office chair, slowly turn the chair, then stop and wait for the student’s reaction.

Hints: Conduct assessment sessions during activities such as playing on a swing at the playground, or during outdoor free play. Cease the activity if the student indicates distress, such as pulling away from the activity.



Read more about: Orientation and Mobility