So far, this month’s kindergarten readiness blog posts have been lots of fun for me to do and, I hope, for you to read. The topic has been all about brains: 9 multiple intelligences, 5 senses +2 whole body senses, and now some whole brain activities. It was sure easy to feel overwhelmed though and that encouraging kids to be powerful learners we’d need to be brain scientists, as well as musicians, artists, athletes, and scholars. Instead, we are parents, caregivers and teachers and parents have a double role because they are the first teachers. But, the good news is that when kids are little learning opportunities come in little packages, too. The little minutes in every day add up to big learning.
When kids get a little scratch, cut, or other ‘owie’ we sometimes kiss it better. Is there a way to give the brain a kiss to make it think better? Kisses are often represented by the letter X. In this case the letter X isn’t a kiss but a crossover. The notion of the brain being divided into 2 halves, the left being logic and language and the right being creative and visual has been debated for years. In his book, Unleashing Your Brilliance, Dr. Brian Walsh writes that the optimal for learning is having both halves work together! And cross overs is one way to link the two halves.
Think of the letter X. Have your child give himself/herself a hug. The two arms cross more or less at the shoulders. Now, drop down and cross arms at the hips and then the knees. Standing back up, with arms by each side, bend one arm up, with the elbow point down. The other hand reaches over and touches the bottom of the elbow. Switch arms and do it again. All of this is quite a challenge for little ones. Grown ups can use it to boost thinking as well, (especially when you have to think of where you’ve put something.)
With both halves of your brain thinking together, what growing brain and kindergarten readiness play activities can you suggest for your child?