Building Better Brains August 03 2014 by Rhyan Arthur, comments
Today I want to share a video from a workshop I attended at my son's school called How Brains are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development. It talks about the experiences in a young child's life that can affect their brain development, and what we as caregivers can do to make sure our kids are building the best brains possible. It's a short, 4-minute animated video and well worth the watch. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
They also gave us a list of 15 things parents and teachers can do to help build healthy brains:
- Build your relationship with your child by being responsive and warm (the "serve and return" analogy from the video)
- Connect before you direct
- Reduce toxic stress in home and at school
- Encourage free play (creative and imaginative)
- Discourage play that uses toys from movies or shows (scripted toys discourage creative play by telling kids how characters should act)
- Encourage play that uses action games or board games
- Encourage daily physical activity
- Encourage structured activities of music and dance
- Encourage problem solving
- Allow children to experience frustration and futility (positive stress)
- Encourage 10 to 12 hours of sleep
- Provide a diet with essential fatty acids (omega 3's)
- Allow children age-appropriate choices
- Encourage feeling identification, ownership, and expression (it's ok to be mad, not ok to be mean)
- Model self-regulation
What a great list! As an owner of a toy shop I was especially interested in points 4, 5 & 6, and I try to keep them in mind as I'm searching for new products to add to the shop.
For more information on this topic visit the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative website.