Comments From Your Child About Holiday Shopping!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I know holiday shopping with me can be frustrating and difficult at times. I really don’t want to be a problem when you take me along. I realize you have a lot to do and you want me to be good so you can get it all done, but, my brain doesn’t always allow me to be perfect. I do like when you take me with you because my brain is curious and I get to see new things. I also love being with you!

So here are some ideas I have so we can have a good time together!

My brain doesn’t like to be bored and it also doesn’t like to be over stimulated. I need interesting things to keep it entertained, but if I get too much stimulation I will need you to help me to relax. My brain is not good at this on my own yet.

               (3 -6 year olds)
  •   Give me a coupon with a picture on it. Make it a fun “treasure hunt” to find this item as we go through the isles together.

  • Have me help you find the items you need by giving me simple directions. For example: Ask me to get the red box or pick the smallest size can, or the item on the bottom shelf.

               (1 – 4 year olds)
  •   While waiting in line, name an item for me to find and point to. Or point to a picture on magazine and have me name it.

               (3 – 5 year olds)
  • As we turn down a new isle name a color. Have me point out items of that color as we  go through the row. Or to add variety, name a shape to look for.

My brain also likes physical activity and using all of the senses. Exploring is how my brain learns. So, I will like touching and trying out things I see.  If you guide me to or provide things that are safe to touch this will be best.  Much of this is all new to me, and do not realize what might happen if I touch, push or pull on something without your guidance.

                (0-3 year olds)
  •  While we shop give items to try out. Let me feel different textures or hear the sounds items  make.  Since my brain learns through repetition I may want to do it again and again. Use descriptive words for the textures and sounds I am experiencing too. My brain likes to hear lots of language from you about objects in my world.

                 (3 – 6 year olds)
  • Have me close my eyes and listen to all the sounds. Have me tell you all that I hear.

  • Have me help you put items on the counter as you get ready to checkout. We could count together as we do this.
I really like it when you give me positive attention . When we are having fun together I will feel good.  My brain will then not react in negative ways to get you to pay attention to me. 
                 (2 – 6 year olds)
  • Let me tell you about all that I see and am interested in as we shop. I get excited about all of the new things I am learning and want to share it with you!

                 (All ages)
  • Sing holiday songs with me while we wait in line.

When I am  hungry or tired it is more likely you will have to deal with acting out behaviors. I really am not trying to be “bad’, my brain is just reacting to what it needs. My brain is not developed to the point of being able to control how I feel yet. I need you to understand and offer support.
  • Bring water and healthy snacks along.
  • Begin shopping after everyone has had enough sleep. Plan shopping before my bed time or after my naps.

With all of this in mind, let’s have a wonderful time together!  My favorite thing to do is spend fun and loving times with you!

For more brain development ideas for everyday life go to:

Millions of Young And Hungry Brains

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report yesterday finding that 49 million people –17 million of which are children, did not have enough food to eat during 2008, an increase of 3.5% from 2007. The report goes on to say that children, especially young children are usually shielded from hunger because their parents find a way to provide enough food but in 2008, over a half of million children under the age of six suffered from the most severe hunger.

These statistics are startling. . . . and very hard to hear for those of us that care so deeply for our young and vulnerable children. Food plays a vital role in brain function, especially during the early years when nearly 90% of the brain is developed. Hunger causes stress in the brain due to the lack of nutrients it needs. This causes stress hormones to be released resulting in lack of attention, behavior problems, and the brain not functioning at optimal levels.

The nutritional value of the food is also important. Good nutrition can lead to increased serotonin levels in the brain and happier children spending more time playing and learning. Sugary foods or beverages eaten on an empty stomach instead of healthy foods (including enough protein) will result in a crabby and possibly hyperactive child.

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, please think about those families and children who are in need and could use your help. To do its part to feed young brains, braininsights® will be directly donating baby formula, cereal, and food to Feeding America® Eastern Wisconsin. braininsights® will donate additional baby food products with each purchase of braininsights® Activity Packets. You can also donate food to Feeding America® at

To learn more about the braininsights® Giving Thanks promotion visit

November Newsletter: Holidays With The Brain In Mind

Friday, November 13, 2009

Read the November Newsletter with great information on how to have a happy brain and a happy holiday season.  Read the newsletter here


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Many of you would be surprised to hear me say there are many positives about Sesame Street.  Those of you that follow my blogs or hear me speak know how I do not support children watching television.  In fact, I frequently demonstrate in presentations how brain connections are made best through interaction and play versus watching TV. And I ALWAYS say … no television before the age of two.
However, I do congratulate Sesame Street for the examples the show gives us on how the brain learns .
  •  The brain learns through having fun
  •  The brain learns through positive role models
  •  The brain learns through real objects
  •  The brain learns from repetition  
  •  The brain learns from predictability
Sesame Street does all of this and you can see each of these in the following example. You will most likely be able to sing along!

However, it is critical to early brain development that we do not have children just sitting and watching television. Research shows brain connections made through direct interaction as opposed to just observing are much stornger. The Neilson Company reports, “ American children aged 2-11 are watching more and more television than they have in years. New findings show kids aged 2-5 now spend more than 32 hours a week on average in front of a TV screen”.

So to optimize the type of learning that Sesame Street demonstrates is best, have children play and interact with real people and get outdoors. But, if a child is going to watch television it is critical to make that time fully interactive.  Following are ideas to turn television viewing in to an interactive experience:
  •           While watching have the child respond and take an active part by singing along with the songs,  answering questions out loud, and so on.
  •             Dance and move together along with music on a show.
  •             Ask questions as you watch together. For example ask, “What would you do if that happened to you?”
  •             Have the child imitate and act out actions on a program.
  •            Together clap along with a song or while counting.
  •             As you are watching a program have the child guess what might happen next.
  •             After a program, have the child remember the sequence of events. Ask, what happened first, next and last in the story.
The most important thing to remember is the brain learns best through experiencing fun interactions with real people and objects!  So… “Come and play everything is a-okay…. ….  “

We Can All Benefit!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It is important to remember, the adults in children’s lives are making a direct impression through every action. Only a small portion of our brain focuses on verbal communication. So, our actions do speak louder than words.
With this in mind I recently learned about a company that is focused on making a positive difference. It is called, Koru Fundraising and I had the chance to have a conversation with the founder last week.

As is stated on the Koru website, Corey believes that fundraising is necessary to improve the education of children but believes in transforming the industry too. This means maintaining a high set of values that will be passed to our youth. Corey’s goal is to help forge an economy that can live through many generations and co-exist peacefully with nature. Koru Fundraising is a vehicle for making these goals happen.

My excitement about the company comes from the belief I also have about making a positive impact. I frequently express that I feel fundraising could make a tremendous impact through selling products that make a difference. When children are involved this is especially important.
So when your organization or group is looking for a way to raise money to make a difference , look for a way to benefit everyone through what you sell. This may be a great resource for you.

YES… I Am Going To Say It Again!

Friday, November 6, 2009

You may have heard me say this before…. The brain learns and make connections through repetition……!

Through loving interactions and repeated experiences the best pathways are created. This video says it ALL! ENJOY!

braininsights® is Giving Thanks This November

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A baby food product will be donated to the local Feeding America® Eastern Wisconsin food bank for every brain activity packet purchased through the month of November.

Food plays a vital role in early brain development. Hunger causes stress in the brain due to the lack of nutrients it needs. This causes stress hormones to be released resulting in lack of attention, behavior problems, and the brain not functioning at optimal levels. However, good nutrition can lead to increased serotonin levels in the brain and happier children spending more time playing and learning.

You can easily feed two brains! You can promote brain development for the child in your life..... and also support a child in need by purchasing braininsights® activity packets today!

For more information on braininsights® and the Giving Thanks promotion visit To learn more about Feeding America® Eastern Wisconsin visit
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