Any activity we engage in wires our brain in a certain way. For children, creating new connections in their brains is a crucial process for their development and acquired skills to help them throughout their lives!
What type of activity does your kid engage in more than others? Is it watching TV or playing sports? and what does water
has to do with it?
Screen time -TV, video games, texting- will wire the brain a certain way. Educational opportunities, sports, art, music- will wire it in other ways. It’s best to balance learning, and use all the senses to practice activities that promote left & right brain coordination.We used scientific studies to discover some exciting tips and practices you can do together with your kids, to ensure good development of their brains:
Left-Sided Brain Training:
Meet the left side of the brain: It controls analytic thought, logic, language, reasoning, science, math, literature, mathematics, and right hand control. How to develop you kid's left brain?
Language & Literature:
- Practice Simple Math: Have fun finding various shapes around the house. Teach fractions by cutting a piece of paper into equal parts and making a pile for each fraction. You know how much kids love cutting paper!
- Fun with Numbers: Say a number and have your child tell you the number that comes before, or next. If denominations of 1 become too easy, then switch to denominations of 2, 5, 7, 20- you get the idea. Have them shout their answer as quickly as they can!
- Learning a Foreign Language: will promote better attention, concentration, problem solving, reasoning, and more! Kids become better attuned to ignore redundance and focus on more relevant information.
- Speed Reading: Write letters or words on a small whiteboard or piece of paper. Show the word for only a millisecond and have your child tell you the letter or word. When this becomes too easy for your child, move on to entire sentences. You can use pictures, too! This exercise will help to develop quick cognitive function.
- “Madlibs:” a tried and true way to have fun while teaching parts of speech. With a little prompting, even a four-year old kid can have fun with these!
- One of the best practices for brainpower is learning an instrument. A recent 5-year study at USC concluded that learning music appeared to accelerate brain development in the areas of language development, speech, and reading skills.
- Dictionary word search: Kids around 5 years old and above can to this with a little help! Just give them the first two or three letters of a word and have them find words with those letters. Read them together and practice making fun sentences!
Right-Sided Brain Training:
- Nature and the Natural World: Have your kid draw everything they see in the forest, or all the things that grow and live in water, in other habitats. Have fun talking about the picture with your kid. “So, what did you draw here?”
- Water and Ice: Talk to your kids about how ice turns back into water, and why they think it happens. Have your kids think about other materials that change states of matter.
Meet the right side of the brain: It is said to control art awareness, imagination, intuition, insight, holistic thought, music awareness, 3D forms, and left-handed control. How to develop your kids right brain side?
Building Self Confidence:
- Talk About Feelings: this will help kids to develop and understand more fully their own feelings, as well as the feelings of others.
- Story Telling: helps to share emotions and the meaning of words through tone, intonation and inflection. Seeing written words while hearing them is also great for early learning!
- Watch Movies: Talk about what happens and how you both feel. Make up alternate endings and see how far you can go!
Intuition and Insight:
- Make believe: Participating in make believe with kids helps build self confidence because we validate their ideas as having meaning. It’s also great for developing imagination!
- Self Confidence: You and your child can use positive affirmations to practice new vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar. Build their self confidence while learning!
- Use Feelings Flashcards: or pictures, and talk to your kid about each character’s feeling. “Why do you think he is happy?” Have your kid guess which emotion is more likely to act a certain way. “Do you think the angry person will share the sandwich? Why or why not?”
- Listen to Music: Different styles of music create different kinds of feelings. Talk about the feelings created from different genres. Which kind of music do they like the best?
- Musical Simon Says: Sing a tune and have your kid follow your lead. Try different rhythms, speeds, volume, and sing with different emotions. Music helps to build strength in many areas and is also a lot of fun!
Our brains need water
- Start a Social Book Club: Get together with some of your kid’s friends’ parents and create a book club. Parents can take turns meeting at a different house every week. Have each kid bring a book, then have drawings to see which books get read! This will help kids learn social skills and help to build confidence when going to new places or new situations.
- Have “Play Overs:” Meeting friends outside of the school’s environment will give kids more insight into how other people live, developing a concept of social diversity and coping skills.
Our last scientifically proved tip is to drink water and stay hydrated! (That applies for both kids, parents and grandparents!)
Our brains depend on proper hydration to function optimally. Brain cells require a delicate balance between water and various elements to operate, and when you lose too much water, that balance is disrupted. Your brain cells lose efficiency.
Hope you enjoyed this fascinating article!