Being stuck at home is a perfect opportunity to get creative with the way our little ones learn. There are plenty of ways to develop our children’s skills using just what we have at home, and The Bright Minds Institute has shared three fun and easy whole brain activities you can try out with your child.
It’s always good to have a positive, creative and relaxed environment when practicing Whole Brain activities. Visualization is a great way to create this atmosphere. Try the ‘writing name in sand’ activity.
You can use a tray of sand, a tray of grains of rice, or a sandpit. Your level of assistance will depend on the age of your child. Have your child (or guide them if they are younger) write their names with their index finger in the sand/rice. Your child’s name is the most important word that they will identify with and recognize at this young age. The sooner they are familiar with the spelling and writing of it, the better! Performing this activity in sand or rice is a more exciting and fun experience for your child and for you!
Eye tracking is a very useful activity in terms of concentration. If practiced on a regular basis, eye tracking will eventually result in a strengthening of your child’s peripheral vision and resulting in the ability to scan read.
Start by trying a simple activity using a teddy, hand puppet or some colourful string. Ask your child to follow the teddy/puppet/string WITH THEIR EYES wherever it goes. Move the teddy/puppet/string in different directions, create patterns and go at different speeds. It is really important to encourage your child to focus only on the teddy/puppet/string and to try and keep their bodies still (including their head) moving only their eyes. This will be difficult for children under the age of 2 but with practice and age, they will get there!
There are many memory activities and they can be as simple or as complex as you like. This activity is great to try at home and you won’t have to buy a single item!
Choose different household objects, items of food or even toys – choose objects that your child is less familiar with. If your child is 1-2 yrs choose 3 objects, 2-3 yrs 5 objects, 4-5 yrs 7 objects, and 5+ yrs 10 objects. The objects for 1-2 year olds could be an orange, a book and toy car.
Place the objects on a counter or a table in front of your child. Say the name of each object out loud whilst pointing to it. You must work quickly through this activity in order for the Right Brain to be fully activated. Spend no more than 2 seconds identifying each object. Once you have identified each object, quickly clear them off of the counter/table. Place all but one object back on the counter/table in their correct position. Ask your child if they can name the missing object? This activity is versatile so if you want to challenge your child further you can add more objects and hide 3 or 4 objects instead of 1.
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