Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The brain likes the right amount of stimulation.The brain doesn't like to be bored and it also doesn't like to be over stimulated.  

Keeping children's brains in mind while holiday shopping makes the time together enjoyable. Each post this week will focus on how to make shopping a fun family time. 

The brain loves having fun, likes using all of the senses, and physical activity. There also is a psychological need that makes a child seek attention. When a child is given positive attention and fun interaction, it is less likely that negative behaviors will result.
When a child is hungry, tired and not getting stimulated in a way that is fun and interesting it is more likely you will have to deal acting out behaviors. Your child isn't trying to be "bad", his or her brain is just reacting to what it needs. Young children's brains are not developed to the point of being able to control all of this yet.
Children need the adults in their life to understand and offer support. Involving your child and interacting in fun ways while shopping will help keep your child's brain stimulated.

Sample activities from the Brain Development Activity Packets:

  • Involve your child in choosing gifts so they can experience the benefits to the brain as a result of giving or donating to others.
  • Name a color. Have your child look for and point out items with that color as you shop..
  • Have your child look for the first letter in their name printed on items or signs as you shop.  
  • Give your child a suggestion for a way to move differently in each aisle. For example you could say: "In this aisle walk on your tip toes." or "This time take 3 steps then hop."
  • Encourage your child to describe how various items feel.
  • Bring a coupon or photo from a flyer for items you plan to purchase. Make a searching game. Have your child look for the pictured item as you go through the aisles.
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