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How The Brain Works For Kids

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Fun Brain Activities : Brain Hemisphere Hats & A Brain Song

The Brain for Kids – What is the brain and how does it work?

To create your own brain Hemisphere hat you will need

  • Copies of the Pattern Pages
  • Scissors
  • Glue or Tape

I printed off the pattern pages from Ellen McHenrys site and the children started cutting them out. I downloaded Ellen McHenrys The Brain Song and we listened while we worked! This is a FUN song! Once the children had finished cutting out the patterns, we talked about the different parts of the brain. We used our Temporal Lobe to listen to the music and our Frontal Lobe & Cerebellum to cut out our patterns. I then taped the Brain Hats together.Our daughter wouldnt stand still long enough for me to get her hat fitted correctly so hers looks more like a Fez instead, HA!

When You Know How Your Brain Works You Can Use It To Your Advantage At School And Outside Of School

One of the best ways to teach how to learn, grow and interact with themselves and their world is by teaching kids about the brain. Neuroscience is often viewed as the upper level of academics however, teaching younger students the importance and function of their brain is incredibly beneficial in supporting their present and future social, emotional and academic endeavors.

Learn How Your Brain Handles Sleep Dreaming And Sleepwalking With This Lesson Human Brain For Kids


Your brain is still very busy, although you feel that it switches off when you sleep. We need to have a good sleep after a busy day. Adequate sleep relaxes you and makes you feel better, giving you a healthy lifestyle.

While you sleep, electrical activity in the brain, known as brain waves, changes. It seems that the brain uses that time to sort out information it received while you were awake.

Do we grow while we sleep?

Yes, you do grow while you sleep. There is a small gland at the base of the human brain, called the pituitary gland. It releases lots of a chemical signal, called a growth hormone while you sleep. This hormone makes you grow. So it is very important to get a good nights rest.

How much sleep do we need?

The amount of sleep that one should need varies according to the different age groups. Newborn babies sleep on and off all day, for 16 hours or more. After gradually getting into a routine, and once children are at school they just sleep through the night. Adults need much less sleep than children. Look at the chart below.

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Losing It: When The Downstairs Takes Over

Stairs connect the upstairs with the downstairs where the characters take messages up and down to each other.

The interaction between the upstairs people with the downstairs folks helps us make the best decisions, pick the right choices, form friendships and get along, invent new games to play, relax when we get too worried or excited, and figure out how to get ourselves out of a pickle.

It happens, in the downstairs brain Warning Wanda senses danger, Spooked Spencer becomes afraid, and Big Shot Steve raises an alarm telling your body to be ready for danger.

Big Shot Steve will be calling the shots and he would tell the upstairs folks, We are in charge for now. Upstairs guys, you can work later when we are out of danger.

This scenario is the downstairs brain losing itor to take a page from Dr. Dan Siegel, flipping the lid on the upstairs brain.

When this happens, the stairs that connect the two sections of the brain no longer function when the lid is flipped.

The stairs that regularly connect the two no longer function when the lid is flipped.

Neurons Send Information To Your Brain At More Than 240kmph

How does my brain work?

A bee lands on your bare foot. Eek! Sensory neurons in your skin relay this information to your spinal cord and brain at a speed of more than 240kmph. Your brain then uses motor neurons to transmit the message back through your spinal cord to your foot to shake the bee off quickly! Motor neurons can relay this message at more than 320kmph. Wow!

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Communications Of The Command Center

The brain receives and sends electrical signals to communicate with the body. While the messages the brain sends are important, the messages the brain receives are just as important after all, your brain is locked deep inside your skull, and it has no other way to determine what is going on in the outside world. These messages travel through cells called neurons, or nerve cells. These neurons are so important that your body has about 100 billion of them. Neurons connect to each other across a tiny amount of space, called a synapse. Some synapses rely on electricity to transmit information, while others rely on special chemicals called neurotransmitters to carry the message across these gaps. When you touch something that is too hot, the nerves in your hand and arm transmit this message to the brain. The brain then sends a signal back to your hand, telling your hand to stop touching the hot object.

Powerhouse Of The Body

The brain is the powerful organ in our heads that controls every action that our bodies take. Even the smallest, most automatic actions like breathing and heartbeat take place because the brains tells the body to do so!

In todays Explain to Kids, we will be exploring the most important ways in which the brain functions. How does the brain send messages to the body? How does the brain know whats going on outside the body? Does the brain grow? Lets have these questions answered!

In reality, brain function is incredibly complex. But for the purposes of this lesson, we can divide the brain into four main parts: Sensory, Survival, ,and Memory. Memory is the glue that connects the Sensory, Survival, and Decision parts of the brain.

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The Amygdala The Jumpy Superhero

The amygdala is like the brains super hero, protecting us from threats. It helps us to react quickly when there is danger. Sometimes its good to reactwhen theres a real physical threat, like when you see a football coming your way. The amygdala simply decides that theres not enough time to think about it and makes us react quickly: you move your head away from the path of the football. In this way, the amygdala can decide whether we get to think about the information our body gathers through our senses or not.

But theres a problem. The amygdala cant see a difference between real danger and something stressful. You could say its jumpy and that it makes mistakes.

When were angry, sad, or stressed the amygdala thinks theres real imminent danger. We then simply react without thinking. We might say or do something we regret immediately. We might even start a fight or just freeze when were offended, or supposed to take test, or speak in front of the class. Fear and stress shuts down our thinking in this way.

The Growing Brain And Mindfulness

How Your Brain Works? – The Dr. Binocs Show | Best Learning Videos For Kids | Peekaboo Kidz

A lot of growth is taking place in the adolescent brain, and this growth is happening at the same time that the brain is reorganizing itself.

Part of this reorganization process, says neurobiologist Dr. Arlene Montgomery, includes the pruning of disused neural connections. This growth and pruning are affected by environmental experiences and reshape the adolescent brain.3

This is one of the reasons mindfulness in childhood and adolescence can be so effective: the pathways that foster empathy and impulse control are being used and strengthened, which will serve the child throughout his or her life.

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Fun Facts About The Brain For Kids

  • The neurons in your brain make enough electricity to generate a low-watt light bulb.
  • Your neurons are joined by tiny pathways or roads. When you do something a lot like ride your bike the pathways in your brain that send messages about bike riding are strengthened. This is sort of like a walking path that you walk on every day.
  • If you dont do something very often, the pathways become weak. Imagine an old pathway filled with grass and weeds. Practice really does make perfect because it strengthens neural pathways. If youre not good at math, start practicing. Chances are, youll get better.
  • Your brain sends more messages everyday than all the phones in the world. Now thats a lot of texting!
  • Messages can fly from the nerves in your body to your brain at more than 150 mph. Whew!
  • Exercising can make you smarter. When you exercise, blood flow to the brain is increased. Your brain also releases hormones that can help you learn. So, get moving to get smarter.

Exercise Helps Make You Smarter

Its well known that any exercise that makes your heart beat faster like running or playing a sport is great for your body and can even help improve your mood. But scientists have recently learned that for a period of time after youve exercised, your body produces a chemical that makes your brain more willing to learn. So, if youre stuck on some tricky homework, go out and run around for a while, then tackle the problem again. You might discover that youre much more able to solve it!

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When Losing It Is Could Be The Safest Thing To Do

If the body senses danger, the brain house will be agitated and confused from all the noise all the characters are making and this makes it difficult to hear what each character is saying.

When this happens, Big Shot Steve will keep the upstairs brain quiet so the downstairs guys can get our body ready for the coming danger.

Steve can also tell the other parts of the body to power on .

Steve can make the heart beat faster to make it ready to dash away, or tensing the body muscles, ready for a fight.

He can also send messages to other body parts to be very quiet and hide until the danger is gone.

Steve prepares the body to keep it safe.

Introduce these scenarios to your child in a playful way so they do not get frightened.

Its a good idea to come up with situations that wouldnt actually happen in real life.

An example to use is, What would your downstairs brain do if you find a dragon in the park?

Stages Of Brain Development From Birth To 6 Years Old

My Paisley World: Whats Inside the Brain of a Toddler ...

While we are not able to offer an exact brain development timeline, we will do our best to give you an idea of the different stages of brain development during early childhood.

When your little one arrives, a lot of work and growth has already been done. However, theres still a lot more growing to do. At birth, your child already has almost all of the neurons theyll need for the rest of their lives, even though their brains are only 25% the size of an adult brain.

Because your baby is rapidly creating and pruning out synapses, this is a critical period for learning things.

Youre probably familiar with the soft spot on a babys head. These soft spots are called fontanelles, and they exist because your childs skull is not fully fused at birth. This serves the dual purpose of helping the head fit through the birth canal and allowing room for the brain to grow quickly during early childhood. At just three years old, your childs brain will be about 80% the size of an adult brain.

Early in your childs life, they will start to form synapses at a faster rate than at any other time of life. Theyre actually producing many more than they need, and not all of them will make it to adulthood. This allows them to learn things more quickly than adults do.

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Neurons Send Info To Your Brain At More Than 150 Miles Per Hour

A bee lands on your bare foot. Sensory neurons in your skin relay this information to your spinal cord and brain at a speed of more than 150 miles per hour. Your brain then uses motor neurons to transmit the message back through your spinal cord to your foot to shake the bee off quickly. Motor neurons can relay this information at more than 200 miles per hour.

The Brain An Awesome Organ

Bet you think a computer is the best thing in the world right? Think its super speedy and can do everything? Well, its not. Welcome to the brainits much more powerful than any super computer you can find!

Think about when you have to act in a hurry, maybe a glass is just about to fall off the table.Your brain controls everything that you need to do to save that glass from falling. First, your eyes check out whats going on, then tells your brain how quickly you need to react, and then your muscles spring into action.

That is super speedy timing and is just from one little organ in our bodies. No computer could ever come close to that! Cool hey.

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Fun Brain Facts For Kids

  • The brain is the center of our nervous system, allowing us to control movements, thoughts, and decisions.
  • The human brain has become more complicated with evolution, giving human beings abilities that are not available in other mammals.
  • There are billions of cells in the brain that send and receive information throughout the body.
  • Compared to other mammals of similar body size, the human brain is over three times larger.
  • The skull or cranium protects the brain and is made up of 22 bones that are all joined together.
  • When a baby is born, the upper part of the skull called the sagittal suture is not fused or joined. This is to allow a baby the flexibility of birth. The area slowly fuses or closes with age.
  • The human brain only makes up about 2% of the weight of the body, it averages at around three pounds in an adult.
  • The brain is in constant use and needs about 20% of the energy as compared to the rest of the body.
  • Our brain is actually suspended in a protective fluid called the Cerebrospinal fluid. It acts as both protection when we move around or due to impact as well as a barrier to keep infections out.
  • A stroke is where a blood clot has formed in the brain and it blocks the blood flow and supply to specific areas of the brain. This can cause damage to brain tissue and a number of symptoms to other areas of the this ad

Myth: You Are Born With Certain Abilities And These Do Not Change Over Time

How Your Brain Works

Fact: At one time, people believed that the brain developed into its full form by the age of three, and that what developed afterwards was just a matter of refinement. In fact, we now know that the brain is plastic it changes with experience and development. Evidence shows that rather than ending development at the age of 5, or even 12, brain development continues into one’s twenties. For some adolescents, the maturation of the frontal lobes may not end until age 25. For others, frontal-lobe maturity may be reached by the age of 18 or 19. For this reason, some adolescents may require additional time before they are ready for college, while others are ready at an earlier age.

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Fantastic Elastic Brain Book

One of the most amazing things about modern brain science is the discovery of the brains plasticity. Not only do we never stop learning, but we can grow and stretch our brains in a variety of exciting ways. This book introduces this concept of brain plasticity in a child friendly look at brain anatomy and function. It also teaches a growth mindset that is crucial, especially for your students who may have a long way to go on their journey toward independent reading.

Books To Help You Teach About The Brain

by schoolcounselingbyheart | Apr 30, 2012 | brain |

Here are some great books that we use to teach kids about the brain in preparation for Healthy Brain/Screentime Turnoff Week. In first through fifth grades we use the Smartboard with pictures, info, and links to video and animations that show the brain, healthy and unhealthy neurons, and how neurotransmission works. We also use these books, and would use them more extensively in class councils if we didnt have the Smartboard. In kindergarten we use the brain model and a brain-hat activity. In first grade we use the brain model, brain hat activity, the Smartboard, and the book How Does Your Brain Work? by Don L. Curry, which provides a good introduction to the brain.

Here are some other great books that we read with kids or have available for them to read and look at on their own:

The Brain: Our Nervous Systemby Seymour Simon has some fabulous photos of the brain, neurons, neurotransmission, and MRI, PET, and SPECT scans, along with lots of good information. You can use the pictures with all grade levels, but the text is more appropriate for fourth grade and up.

Young Genius: Brainsby Kate Lennard provides a great introduction to young children and is appropriate for kids as young as kindergartners. It contains facts, jokes, pictures, and some fun to use flaps. Heres the description from the back cover of the book:

Heres the cover of the book:

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