How Long Have We Known What Is Essential To Healthy Development?

Monday, January 28, 2013

It is quite frequent that I ask the question…  

“Why is it that we know what a developing brain needs, but with increasing frequency too many children are experiencing the opposite?” 

There are numerous scientific research studies that provide evidence of what is needed for a child’s healthy development.  These of course are things I write and speak about every day. I, along with many other professionals, share information about the importance of play, nutrition, sleep, time in nature, and physical activity.

Today I picked up a book that I have had on my bookshelf for awhile. In flipping through it, I found the following statements:  

“Play, is the development of the human mind, its first effort to make acquaintance with the outside world. The child indeed sees no purpose in it, sees not the end that is to be reached; but it expresses its own nature, and that is human nature in its playful activity.” 

Additionally, it goes on to say…

“It is the duty of every teacher, whether in city or country, to impress upon pupils, by emphatic iteration, the laws of health in relation to food, air, sleep, rest, exercise, play, work and personal habits in general. Teachers should give attention to the encouragement of games, play and amusement.”

“It is a mistaken notion of some pedagogues that the chief end of children is to go to school and study lessons from books. It is painful to witness, in many schools, how the plastic, growing bodies are cramped, how natural impulses are repressed, how the laws of nature are systematically violated. Physicians know this, though teachers and parents shut their eyes to the painful facts.”

Are you surprised to find out that these statements were published in, 

Methods of Teaching by John Swett .......
in 1883!!!!!?

We have known what is best for children's healthy development and learning for at least 130 years. And, now due to technological advances, we even have scientific evidence to show us what is best for young growing bodies and brains. It is no longer only based on theory and behavioral studies, and we are still having to promote, educate and advocate for children to get all of what they need most!!......

Let's ensure this changes NOW!!! 
I invite you to share insights frequently to make this important information finally become common knowledge 
and common practice. 

The children are depending on us!


Brain Development Activity Packets   
Have fun interactive learning ideas right on hand to entertain and help young brains develop in the healthy ways they deserve!
There is one for parents of each age from Birth up through age 5! 
(English and Spanish) 

Also available are 
 Brain Packets  
for dedicated Early Childhood Educators through  
Redleaf Press


Brain Series for ECE

Creating a Better Life... for Everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Brain Insights
The Best Year Yet!  

In the January Brain Insights Newsletter I share the following thoughts, feelings and visions with all of the fabulous people that subscribe and wanted to share with you also!

The new year brings with it the wonderful anticipation for creating improvement in our lives! It can bring excitement for all that is possible! Isn't that a wonderful feeling!?

This is exactly why I also get so EXTREMELY enthused about all we know, understand and are continuing to learn about the brain!! This knowledge and awareness about the brain also provides excitement for new possibilities. When we have our brains functioning best... we can be an even more positive influence for everyone in our lives. And... when we better understand and provide what brains need most, then we can support optimal growth, health and happiness!

Often, with new year resolutions we primarily focus on improving our bodies. Isn't if funny that we don't usually make resolutions to make positive changes for our brain? The beauty is however, if we focus on doing what is best for our brains... everything in life improves!

It is with this focus, I am thrilled to share a new program for caring communities throughout the country. As a result of the post I wrote following the tragic event in Newton, CT , I developed this unique presentation called, Creating Great Connections, for those asking...."What can we do?". It is my belief that we should use this DEEPLY sad event to turn it into something positive for every community. It would be wonderful to use the feeling of pulling together in support of each other to make it happen EVERYWHERE... EVERY DAY!

Early Childhood Brain Insights
Let's make 2013 a year that we REALLY use our brains.... (and our Hearts)! 
Filled with hope, 


To benefit from all of the additional articles and resource links in the January Issue of Creating Great Connections
click here and ENJOY!! 

Since publishing the January Newsletter, I have read this article about these interesting and related findings to also share with you:

"Social psychologists are increasingly finding that "prosocial" behavior -- including expressing gratitude and giving to others -- is key to our psychological well-being. Even how we choose to spend our money on purchases affects our health and happiness. And children develop specific ways to help others from a very young age." Read more here.

Early Childhood Brain Insights

Hopefully 2013 is starting out to be a SPECTACULAR year for you and one that will make an extremely positive difference for children and families everywhere!!

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