Where’s the brain and what it does?
Do you know what the brain is? The brain is the most important organ in our body. It is like a powerful computer which controls everything we do. The brain is located inside the skull. It is protected by fluid liquid and the bones of the skull. They help to keep it safe from injuries.
The human brain is small but very significant. It weighs 1.5 kg, and it’s a couple of times bigger than the brain of animals. Our brain is very complex, and it gets bigger when we grow up. It reaches its normal size when we get 18 years old. With the years it becomes more and more complicated when we learn new things.
Do you wonder what the brain is made of? It consists of water and fat. It has 100 billion neurons. The neurons are like a net of tiny threads. They go everywhere in our body, and their job is to pass messages from the brain. The brain sends signals to the other parts of the body using neurons.
Our brains consume a lot of energy- up to 20%. This is because we use it to control everything we do. Thanks to the brain we can breathe and walk, our hearts beat, and we can learn new things.
The brain has five main parts, and all of them work together. The biggest part is called cerebrum. We use the cerebrum to move our muscles, to dream, to speak and learn a new language. Thanks to it people can memorize and imagine things. Do you remember where you went last summer on holiday? Great, this is because cerebrum is working.
Other important parts are the cerebellum and the brain stem. They are responsible for balance, the breathing, and digestion.
The left side of the brain
The cerebrum- the largest part of the brain is divided into two sides. They are equal and work together.
The left side controls our muscles on the right side of the body. Try this – raise your right hand. Good job, the left side of your brain passed a message to your hand, and you lose it.
The left side of the brain is responsible for thinking. You can do math equations thanks to it. It helps you to think logically and memorize different things. You can also learn a foreign language because of the left side. Little kids learn how to speak because the left side is working.
It helps people to make decisions and analyze. Let’s say outside is dark, what will you think? It’s night, right? This because the left side helps you conclude it is night because it’s dark.
The left part of the brain is also responsible for the new skills we acquire. You can learn to cook, to drive a car or ride a bicycle.Thanks to the left part you can remember details. Look at this picture. First, you can say it is blue. But then you see there are butterflies. You can tell these are butterflies because of the left side’s work.
The left part of the brain helps you to learn the names of the objects. You know this is called pencil, and this is called paper when you look at them.
The right side of the brain
The rights side of the brain is the opposite. It controls the left part of your body- left eye, left hand and foot. It is the creative part. It works when you draw a picture or when you sing. It helps you learn to play a musical instrument or to dance. Listening to music affects our brain in a way that has never imagined. When you play sports games, the right part is active.
It is also responsible for imagination and dreams. When you imagine something, let’s say you’re on a desert island with pirates- then the right side is working. You can recognize colors and relate them to objects. People have impressions and can make associations due to the right side. If you imagine the sea, you think of something blue, fresh and windy. It also assists you to recognize the objects and what they do. When you see a pencil you know, it writes.
The right part of the brain pays attention to the overall picture. With the example with the butterflies, this first thing you thought was- the picture is blue. It doesn’t pay attention to details but looks at the landscape instead.
You can guess when someone’s mood by his tone because of the right side of the brain. When the right part operates, we can memorize images, shapes, and colors easier than numbers and words. Try this test – say out loud what color you see, but don’t read the word. Was it difficult?
Tips how to help your kids use both parts of the brain
As we use both sides in accordance, some researchers say different people tend to have one part dominating. If your child is left-brain orientated, he might be really good in mathematics or planning and be an organized kid. On the other hand, if you believe he is right-brain dominated he will be best in drawing classes, singing, and creative subjects. After school classes are very helpful for you kid and at the same time will prove to you more time to focus on important things.
Of course such major generalizing is too broad. Our brain functions too complicated to conclude one side is dominating. There is logic in artistic activities and creativity in strategic planning. This is what makes us humans so unique and stands at the base of self-developing.
You as a parent, however, can stimulate your child to achieve balance in his personality and skills. Here are some basic tips help your kid develop better communication between both sides of the brain.
Play analytics games while listening to music
Games which require logic are handy for developing analytical thinking. Try to play crosswords games, word puzzles or Sudoku. To train your child’s concentration, you can play music while he solves the puzzles. This exercise combines both parts of the brain into one joint activity. It will help you kid to analyze, take decisions fast and be more open-minded.
Learn new words and make associations
Learning new words always helps. It could be entirely new language or more complicated and abstract words from your native language. Leaning new words helps your kid to memorize more complex content and divide chunks of information into smaller parts.
On the other hand, word associations are great to inspire creative thinking and expand even more your kid’s knowledge and vocabulary. It creates inner links between languages and makes your child more intuitive when reading a foreign text.
Learn to play an instrument
The ability to play any instrument is very helpful for every child. Playing requires concentration and improves fine motor skills. You kid learns how to be consistent and to follow predefined rules and movements. Playing develops an affinity for music and sparkles artistic talent.
Play sports games
Sports engage both sides of the cerebrum. Sports games involve movement, strategy, and speed. Most of them require the equal use of both hands and legs in coordination. Sports are usually joint, so your kid will learn to cooperate with other players while driving his skills into action.
Use modern techs to stimulate your kid’s brain
Modern apps for brain training are a great way to make use of technology. They stimulate both hemispheres with games using shapes, colors, mathematics, and geometry. The child will get used to logical thinking and to recognize patterns. Some brain training games use music, abstract shapes even pieces of art to train visual memory. With such apps, the kid can become more intuitive with faster and clearer thought.
Planning and visualization
Planning and visualization is a simple brain training anyone can do at home. It stimulates concentration, memory, and imagination. Set up a simple task for you kid- to plan how to build a house. Make him divide the process into stages- construction from the base to the roof- and imagine how it will be done. Ask him or her to make sketches of the house and to choose how it will look like. Stimulate the kid to get into detail- in colors, number of windows, etc.
One person’s ability to deal with everyday tasks is defined by his approach. People who stimulate both parts of the brain are more balanced, self-aware and usually possess a higher number of personal skills. There is always more than one way to solve a problem, but it is up to us to decide how.
People who invest time and efforts to trigger the activity of both parts of the brain are fast-learners. They have multi-dimensional ways to solve problems and gain ideas. Usually, they have a creative approach to obstacles. They can make plans, build strategy, which can eventually realize. They are experimenters with strict ideas and clear goals.
There are many examples of famous people being artistic and strictly rational at the same time. Remember Leonardo Da Vinci– an artist and a scientist, or Steve Jobs – highly creative person and a leader of a modern technology empire. Or Wassily Kandinsky- the father of abstract painting, who sees art from the scientific and logical point of view.
The famous psychologist Carl Jung defined interesting Artist-Scientist archetype- a pattern in human personality. He believed people who fall into this archetype are both dreamers and thinkers. There are many examples of famous figures who are strongly logical and highly creative at the same time- Nicola Tesla, Archimedes or Benjamin Franklin. What describes best this type of people is innovation.
What matters to you as a parent is teaching your child how to keep harmony between logic and creativity, rationality and emotions. He could be next who will change the world with innovation.