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Neuroplasticity

Our brains are plastic and changeable! Who would have ever thought that this would be true – well it is. It is such an exciting thing as we can change our brain through new stimulation and experiences.

This is called “Neuroplasticity” and is defined as the brain’s natural ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural pathways and connections throughout life from childhood to old age. Neuroplasticity allows the nerve cells (neurons) in the brain to adjust their workings in response to new situations or changes in their environment to compensate for disease and injury. Definition sourced from medicinenet.com.

For example if a brain is injured after a stroke or disease then the undamaged parts of the brain can begin to compensate for the injured area in the brain. This can be achieved through stimulating the brain with certain activities. In children’s learning this is also very exciting as it means that a child’s brain can be moulded and changed to allow for learning to occur easily and more effectively.

Be aware though that this is not a quick fix and it takes time and a lot of stimulation to encourage new pathways to be created.

One very effective way I have found to stimulate the brain to perform better and more effectively is through the use of brain exercises. These are simple exercises that have been developed by Paul E Dennison (founder of Brain Gym). They have been created in a way that is fun and interactive for children. I am currently doing these exercises with two prep classrooms on a weekly basis and the feedback I have received from these teachers is very encouraging. One Prep Teacher states that “the benefits of doing regular brain exercises help with fine motor skills which is very important in the children’s reading and writing. This has been backed up by a lot of research. The children also think it is a lot of fun to do the exercises and therefore they do them enthusiastically – helping their brain without even realising.”

She also goes on to state that “Students who have difficulty in reading and writing are the ones who were having the most difficulty in completing the exercises and were also showing an improvement in the reading and writing.”

Over the next few weeks, I will be uploading a few basic brain exercises to my webpage under the heading ‘Health Tools & Tips’. One that I have mentioned in previous blogs and is already under the ‘Health Tools & Tips’ section is the Crosscrawling brain exercise. Give it a go today and encourage your children to do this every morning before school or homework. It is a fabulous and easy exercise that we can all do.

Until my next blog enjoy your children.

Debbie

xo

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