Right brain training may sound like a bombastic word, but the truth is, its roots traces back to how our brains function and their specialised skills.
Some interesting brain facts to put things into perspective:
The right brain is known as the “creative” brain, and it’s where our imagination and visualisation skills are housed. It also has the ability to process large amount of information.
On the other hand, the left brain is the more systematic one. It is known as the “reasoning” brain, and controls the conscious mind, helping us to process information systematically.
We’ve also shared our experience on children brain development activities in Singapore which we learned about during the My Little Genius Open House. Their focus was on bilingualism and whole brain stimulation, which included some introduction to the concept of right brain training for kids too.
So when Nurturing Totz got in touch with us, I was excited to find out how their activities support home-based learning. Yes, you read right! You CAN do these brain exercises with your children, and it’s really not that difficult.
PLUS, if you’re time-strapped (like me!) and don’t have time to develop your own resources for your kids, receiving a box of ready materials is quite a godsend, if I may say so! There’s no need to research, print, cut and laminate – that’s because another mummy has taken care of everything! :)
We wanted to find out more about the person behind Nurturing Totz, how the resources came about and why the thought of developing right brain training exercises for children… Yeah, my idea was to really understand what this new business was all about, and how clueless parents and their children can use these painstakingly put-together boxes of learning materials. I’ve to say, mummy Cindy was really patient with my Q&A! More about the business later, so first, let’s find out what’s in our box of surprise!
Themed brain games for kids
Our sample Theme Box set (S$45) was on the topic of animals. This is categorised under the Beginner level, with different themes are available for selection.
Training materials in this box includes:
1. Flashcard – Animals & Sound
2. Mandala – Beginner (10 doubled sided with worksheets)
3. Tangram – Animals (5 double sided puzzle with wooden blocks)
4. Link Memory (1 story – 10 mini cards)
5. Chik Chak /Scene Play – Zoo scene ( 2x scene, 5 x2 elements)
Parents who are new to right brain training techniques or are unsure how to use the materials, not to worry, tips & guides for each activity are included!
There are two levels: Beginner and Advance. Deciding on the level depends on your child’s ability, instead of age. Once your child has tried the Beginner level, and is ready to to progress to Advance, go for it!
Individual activities are also available for purchase, so parents may choose from Tangrams, Flashcards (there are different levels and themes too!) or Scene-play and try out the different games with your little ones. As a mum of two, I would say that the variety in each box allowed both Vera and Leroy to try out the different activities, so they pretty much rotate like a game buffet :P
How do each set of right brain activity stimulate a child’s cognitive development?
Here’s sharing the purpose of each activity that we have in our themed sample set:
Parents may have seen those high-speed flashing of flashcards, right? They seem to appear like a blur, but educators believe that the quick flashing ignites the right brain as opposed to slow-paced flashing which works the left brain. The picture and word on each side of the flashcard also aids visual learning.
Mandalas are used to train observation skills and photographic memory functions in the brain. Its concept is pretty similar to memory games that we play. Visuals include different shapes and colours.
Made up of 7 different shapes, Tangrams are used to teach spatial relationships. Children also learn geometric terms and develop stronger problem solving skills, as well as vocabulary at the same time.
Link Memory involves creating a
ridiculous crazy story with pictures. There is literally little or no logic between one card and the next. This game triggers the creative brain (aka the right brain!) to open up its photographic memory potential through right brain stimulation.
Chik Chak or Scene Play
Our set included the Scene Play, also referred to as ‘Chik Chak’. This activity aims to awaken the short term memory, develop children’s attention span and focus, while nurturing the brain to store and process information. Put simply, it’s pretty much like a memory game. 1 set for parents to place the animals; the other for the child to put down his answers :)
Getting the kids familiar with brain development activities at home
With Vera and Leroy who are 4 and 1.5 years old respectively, things can get pretty chaotic when we try to do things together at home. #keepitreal
Vera is older and able to focus on these activities when we play these right brain activities together.
I can’t quite say the same about Leroy though! HAHA! He gets up to his own kind of creative fun, yet enjoys flashcards too!
I’ve also realised that the juicy bit about teaching very young children is to learn to stay calm when things don’t go the intended manner. Just a simple tip from one mum to another :P
It’s easy to get frustrated especially when you’re trying to get them to follow instructions or do a certain activity, but cooperation is not on their minds. If your child turns away or shows disinterest, it’s time for parents to turn on their right brain to creatively repurpose some of the activities to make them work for you! :P
Case in point – this was what I meant:
Children thrive on conditioning, so consistency is a good thing. Since K and I work full-time and usually end work later than usual, our only pocket of time to do any home activity is during the weekends. That is also in between running errands and when we are not out of the house! Sneaking time in for play and learning requires a conscious approach especially if you’re time-strapped parents like us! All in good fun, and we’ve got an extra perk for you too, fellow parents in Singapore!
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Valid till 15 December 2017.
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