Start Smart: Building Brain Power in the Early Years

Start Smart: Building Brain Power in the Early Years

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 0876593937

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Winner of the National Parenting Publications Award.

Did you know that emotions boost our memory? Or that small muscle exercises help the brain develop? Early experiences contribute to the structure of the brain and its capacities. The quality, quantity, and consistency of stimulation will determine, to a large extent, the number of brain synapses that are formed and how those connections will function. This is true for both cognitive and emotional development, and the effect is lifelong. Start Smart offers simple, straightforward ways to boost brain power with active exploration, repetition, sensory exploration, and direct experience. Revised to reflect the latest research about how children learn, the new edition of this classic bestseller offers explanations on how and why these activities help the brain develop. The layout has been updated, and the illustrations are now in color.

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the baby’s arms and legs while he watches himself in the mirror. Add some paint to the fun! Place a large sheet of paper and fingerpaints on the floor. Invite the children to get on their hands and knees and paint on the sheet of paper. This activity will strengthen children’s shoulders and hips and will encourage them to shift their weight. Provide balls made of different materials for the children to explore for additional sensory input. Blow bubbles. Have the children try to pop the

process as opposed to product. For example, instead of saying, Your building turned out great, Ginny, say, Gee, Ginny, that building shows a lot of hard work that you did all by yourself. Set children up for success. For example, saying, Gabrielle, you are always so nice, sets her up for failure because no one is nice all the time. Keep statements specific to individual children and to children’s immediate accomplishment. Gabrielle, helping Quinn zip his coat was thoughtful. Use a natural voice

or hungry; being in a rush; reacting to the stress of others; conflicts with others; and changes. Teach children calming strategies. Here is a list of a few strategies that work well with children: Bringing hands to the center of the body: Just as crossing the midline activates the brain, bringing hands to the midline calms the brain. Stretching: Encourage the children to stretch when they are feeling stressed. Teach them the following action rhyme they can sing to themselves when they stretch

Strain the liquid to use as perfume. Grow an herb garden. Introduce children to various herbs, and invite the children to participate in cooking activities that use the herbs. Fill beanbags with herbs. Encourage children to play games with the beanbags. Take a nature walk. Encourage children to close their eyes and try to identify the smells of nature. Place calming or relaxing aromas in quiet areas, and aromas that encourage alertness in more active areas. Make smelling bottles by dipping

Doodlely-Do—Perform these movements in rhythm with this chant. The children clap their thighs twice, clap their hands twice, and then cross their hands in front of their body four times (left hand on top twice, then right hand on top twice). Then the children touch their noses, then their right shoulders with their left hands. Then the children touch their noses, then their left shoulders with their right hands. Then the children move their hands in “talking” motion just above their shoulders,

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