Recent studies by scientists at Oxford university have proven that after six weeks of practice juggling increases the grey matter, or cabling network, of the brain by 5%. Proving what was previously not thought possible, that new stimuli can alter the brains structure.
Nature science journal reported in a similar study that three months after the new jugglers had stopped juggling, brain scans showed the increase in grey matter had been significantly reduced.
Education World also reports that students school work is improved after learning to juggle. Improvements in concentration, eye hand coordination, fine motor skills, reading and behaviour are just some of the benefits of juggling cited by educators.
Children who had trouble learning to juggle also had difficulty learning to read. With extra juggling practice their reading improved also.
Schools across America who have adopted circus skills programmes report a marked improvement in academic activities. David Finnigan who has travelled to more than 2,000 schools across the U.S. to teach students states that juggling teaches from the outside in.
While learning to juggle they use the left side of the brain, when juggling the right side. After they have been juggling for a while both sides of the brain become active.
Putting aside all of the scientific studies let’s not forget that it’s fun with a capital F, watching the kids learning and the joy it generates in them is in itself evidence enough of the positive effects of circus skills.
Juggling good for the brain, study shows by CNN international- Jan 2004
Study links juggling to academic skills by Education World – March 2002