Don’t you love rainbows? Really, who doesn’t? Certainly Debbie Clement and Laura Eldredge love rainbows!
One of my Pinterest boards actually is all about rainbows. And, Somewhere Over the Rainbow is one of my favorite songs. Do you think it could have anything to with being Irish? At this time of the year it is fun to think of good luck and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
So, I have created a post of a RAINBOW of needs all children want all adults to know. This is rainbow leads to something better than a pot of gold at the end and it doesn’t depend on luck! Having these eight needs met will contribute to a happy life with a healthy and well developed brain! (The scarecrow could have used these early in his life!)
Respect: Every child is beautiful unique and of course very special. Giving a child respect as an individual with their own personality, set of skills, abilities and interests contributes greatly to healthy self respect. Understanding early brain development aids adults in providing the respect children deserve. Asking, "what do you think?" and giving a child an age appropriate choice are two easy ways to show respect.
Attention: Children have a psychological need for attention. If they don’t get attention for doing positive things, we all know they then resort to doing anything that will get them the attention they need. So it is important that adults use their own attention to focus on the ways they can provide positive attention for children.
Interaction: The brains of children are wired best when having experiences of play and interaction with real objects and people. Brains are experience dependent. They do not just magically develop. Children have to have experiences for their brains to grow. Language also only develops through direct conversation. So, screen time is not the optimal way for a child to develop. Using all the senses with opportunities to explore, create and experiment with REAL objects is always best.
Nutrition: What is good for the body is also good for the brain. The brain needs a variety of nutritious foods to function well. A well balanced meal boots the level of “the feel good chemicals” in the brain. As a result a child can play and learn well. If a child eats a lot of carbohydrates instead of a healthy meal including protein, a child may have difficulty paying attention and may become moody or exhibit hyperactive types of behaviors. The Today I Ate A Rainbow kit is a fun and easy way to help kids eat healthy foods!
Bedtime Routine: Routines in general are very comforting for brains and bedtime is an especially important one. Bedtime is leading to a time of separation so a calm, caring, comforting routine is very beneficial. Additionally, sleep is critical to keeping brain systems in balance for better learning, attention, moods and behaviors.
Outdoor Play: Brains benefit greatly from movement, physical activity and nature. Even 10 minutes of time spent outdoors reduces stress effects on the brain. The brain then has better memory and problem solving abilities, and a longer attention span. Any type of play is the way the brain learns best and rough and tumble play has been found to positively impact wiring in the thinking areas of the brain.
Water: The brain is about s75% water. It is important that children get the water they need for healthy brain function. Sometimes when feeling a lack of energy, all it may take is a drink of water to feel less fatigue. (That is true for any age brain!) …. AND water is also fun to play in. Lots of brain connections are made through playing and experimenting with water in many ways!
The brain development series is even in a rainbow of colors! You can find each of these in the wonderful new
Have you check out all of the wonderful products from these knowledgeable, dedicated and experienced authors?
Wishing you a March filled with rainbows and ... maybe even a pot of gold!
Deborah McNelis, MS. ed, is an Early Brain Development Specialist and owner of Brain Insights®, Deborah is the award winning author of, The Brain Development Series, Naturally Developing Young Brains, and the Love Your Baby App. She has been seen in several publications, heard on numerous radio shows, and receives rave reviews for her enlightening and engaging presentations.
Deborah’s newest initiative helps entire communities, “Create Great Connections”. Her goal through this work is for everyone to gain an understanding of early brain development, it’s impact, and the ways we can all easily make a REAL difference.