Brain Development Activities

Brain research has made significant discoveries about how the brain is stimulated through play. The hand and the brain need each other. Neurologically, “a hand is always in search of a brain and a brain is in search of a hand”- Wilson. The use of the hands to manipulate three-dimensional objects is an essential part of brain development. According to the latest brain research, when kids play with blocks, pushes around toys and throw balls, their brains are being fertilized with constant neural growth.

And the play personality of your child changes as per the age and development of your child:

  • Observe babies in the first nine months as they manipulate toys, they reach for, hold, release and suck on the toy. The focus is on manipulation as their finger muscles are developing and their brain uses all the five senses to learn.
  • From 9 to 18 months, children will be involved in function games with their toys which they toss, press and throw because they are curious to know what each toy can do.

18 months onwards when the brain is now geared for imagination, children indulge in imaginative play; they give a functional twist at a symbolic level to the toy or object. So a long block is used as a mobile phone or banana. This is the beginning of symbolic play which is the foundation of learning to read and write. When a child can visualize an object as having another function then the child will be able to see the word ‘c-a-t’ and visualize a cat.

So if kids don’t play, they don’t learn and that is why play is called the work of childhood.
So watch your kids play today and observe these schemas in their play. What is a schema? A schema is a repeated action in children.

  1. Trajectory– fascinated by the way they themselves or objects move through the air.
  2. Rotation– Children who just adore circles and anything that goes round
  3. Positioning- children who are always placing things in some kind of order
  4. Transporting- children who are always on the move, moving items and often carrying a bag
  5. Enveloping– children who like to cover themselves or objects as well as hiding
  6. Enclosure-children who love to surround or enclose either themselves or other objects
  7. Connecting– connectors simply enjoy attaching themselves or objects to other things
  8. Transforming-these children spend hours mixing

Yes, children thrive on play because their brains learn best with play. So even though play is a 4-letter word it is one of the best words that adults should speak around children. So tell your child to play today…and play along…it keeps you young!

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