Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Left Brain and the Right Brain

Almost 80% of the people in the world have a more developed left-brain.  Whis is this so? Professor Chen Lung-an, director of the Creative Thinking Educational Center at the Taipei Municipal Teacher’s College, says that this is related to the superiority of the left-brain in handling language and logical thinking.

Chen cites the game of bridge as an example.  He says that when you are about to play a card in bridge your right brain goes running off in a thousand directions at once, thinking laterally.  This sort of thinking is not appropriate to this situation and the left-brain takes over, assembling a logical train of thought.  It sorts through the cards available, considers which has the greater change of winning the trick, what will happen if one’s partner plays such and such a card and what will happen if he does not, slowly tracing through the many possibilities to come up with a play.

Similarly, in most of our thinking and learning in daily life, the left brain’s spend and efficiency mean that the right brain often has no chance to do anything.

Other factors are also detrimental to right brain development.  There are our years of utilitarian education, with its emphasis on mathematics, language, logic and analysis and its tendency to ignore the arts, music and creativity.  There are parental pressures to become doctors and lawyers and scientists rather than poets and artists.  And there is the world itself, which requires us to do more left-brain thinking than right.  Under these circumstances, our left-brains become more and more developed while our right brains atrophy, metaphorically speaking, from under-use.

After Sperry discovered the right brain’s capabilities, a number of Taiwanese in numerous different fields began to take note.  For example, Chen Lung, a scholar whose academic research is in “creative thinking,” has proposed a methodology for developing children’s creativity.  Chen stresses the utilization of imagination and lateral thinking, stating that this is a form of right-brain exercise.  Meanwhile, some people in the commercial sphere advocate using breathing and meditation to change your moods or the direction of your thinking.  Even cram schools have gotten into the act, taking advantage of the right brain’s affinity for images by promoting the concept of “mind maps”-taking notes in a pictorial of diagrammatic format rather than the traditional line upon line of text.

(image from the web)

Friday, 23 September 2016

Developmental Milestones of Babies

All babies are unique; thus their growth patterns are not identical. The following guide is a compilation of development guides which will empower all parents with an insight of what you can expect at various stages of development of your baby or as we call it “developmental milestones”.

The following milestones are sorted by age and activity viz. motor, sensory, communication and feeding, making it easy for you to track your kid’s development.

1.    0 to 3 months old:
a.    Motor:
                                              i.     When the baby is on its tummy, can hold her head up and push up on arms.
                                            ii.     Can make smoother movements with arms and legs.
                                          iii.     Can open and close fists.
                                           iv.     Bring fists to its mouth.
b.    Sensory:
                                              i.     While lying on back, can follow a moving object from side to side and attempt to reach out for a toy placed near its chest.
                                            ii.     Becomes calm with soothing sound or rocking movement.
                                          iii.     Actively enjoys playtime like bouncing on knees, etc.
c.     Communication:
                                              i.     Turns head towards the sound or your voice.
                                            ii.     Can recognize you from across the room and shows interest in people’s faces.
                                          iii.     Makes eye contact.
                                           iv.     Begins to smile or quite down.
                                             v.     Starts to babble and mimic the sounds you make.
d.    Feeding:
                                              i.     Turns head toward nipple or bottle.
                                            ii.     Sucks and swallows well during feeding.

Note: Regularly placing the baby on its tummy will help develop the neck, back and shoulder muscles needed to meet milestones. It may also prevent early motor delays and conditions like flat head syndrome and twisted neck syndrome. Tummy time can begin as soon as your baby comes home from the hospital. Aim for a few minutes of tummy time, several times a day. There are multiple ways to do tummy time with your baby: placing the baby on your chest while lying down; positioning one hand under the baby’s tummy and between legs and carry baby tummy down; placing baby face down across your lap; placing baby on their tummy after routine activities like bathing and diapering. Always remember to place the baby on its tummy during playtime and on their backs during the sleep-time.

(to be continued.....)

Sunday, 28 August 2016

மை ஸ்மார்ட் பேபி பயிற்சி

உங்கள் குழந்தையை ஒரு சாதனையாளராக மாற்றுவது உங்களிடம்தான் உள்ளது; அதற்கு உள்ளார்ந்த ஆற்றலைத் தூண்டிவிடும் பயிற்சிகள் அவசியம்.

மூளையின் இருபக்கங்களும் வெவ்வேறு இயல்புகளைக் கொண்டது என்பதை நங்கள் உங்களுக்கு முன்னர் சொன்னோம், இல்லையா? இடப்பக்க மூளையானது ஒரு சீரான முறையில் மட்டுமே சிந்திக்கப் பழக்கப்படுவதால் அது ஒரு கிடங்கு போல் தகவல்களை சேமித்து வைத்துக்கொள்கிறது. அதனால் புதிய தகவல்களை அது அனுமதிக்கப் போராடுகிறது.

ஆனால் வலது மூளையோ Photographic memory போல் இயங்குவதாலும், கற்பனைத் திறனோடு நமது சொந்த அனுபவங்களை அறிவாக மாற்றும் அமைப்புகளை உருவாக்குகிறது.  அதனால் நினைவாற்றலும் பெருகிடக் காரணமாக இருக்கிறது.

நினைவாற்றலுக்கும் கற்பனைக்கும் நெருங்கிய தொடர்பிருப்பதாக பேராசிரியர் சென் லுங் தெரிவிக்கிறார்: “நல்ல நினைவாற்றல் இருந்தால் உங்கள் குழந்தையின் மூளையானது தங்கு தடையற்ற தகவல் களஞ்சியமாக செயல்படுவதோடு, புதிய தகவல்களையும் ஆர்வத்துடன் பதிவு செய்ய ஒத்துழைக்கிறது.”

அதற்கேற்ற வகையில் பயிற்சி கொடுப்பதற்காக விஞ்ஞானபூர்வமாக ஆய்வு செய்யப்பட்ட புகைப்பட ப்ளேஷ் கார்ட்ஸ் மற்றும் ஆடியோ வீடியோ பாடங்கள் மற்றும் Multiple Intelligencesகளை தூண்டுவிடுவதற்கான ஆக்டிவிட்டீஸ் ஆகியவற்றைப் பற்றி அம்மாக்களுக்குக் கற்றுக்கொடுப்பதே மைஸ்மார்ட் பேபி பயிற்சி.

இப்பயிற்சியின் மூலம் குழந்தையின் Perception சக்தி கூர்மையாகும், வலுவான உள்ளுணர்வு ESP, Telepathy, Telekinesis, Perfect Pitch ability, Computer like math calculating ability போன்ற திறன்கள் பெருகிடும்*.  இதுவரை 15,000க்கும் மேற்பட்ட தாய்மார்களும், குழந்தைகளும் எங்களின் இந்தப் பயிற்சியால் பயன்பெற்றுள்ளனர்.

மேலும் விபரங்களுக்கு நீங்கள் இணையதளத்திலிருந்து E-Book ஐ இலவசமாக டவுன்லோட் செய்யலாம். அல்லது 9840999708 என்ற எண்ணைத் தொடர்பு கொள்ளவும்.

உங்கள் குழந்தையை ஜீனியசாக்க உங்களுக்கு இது ஒரு சிறந்த வாய்ப்பு.

*Results may vary according to Training Practice and each Child

Friday, 26 August 2016

Teaching children through musical intelligence (multiple intelligence)

Musical intelligence is how we relate to sound and music and patterns, to be able to listen and absorb from sounds, to be able to think in rhythms and patterns, and to recognize these and manipulate them.
For a child, who is strong in musical intelligence, here are some ways in which you can provide interesting learning opportunities.

Strengths of children with musical intelligence

  • They have great listening skills and pick up on nuances very easily
  • They are attracted to interesting sounds and music
  • They can identify rhythms and patterns in virtually everything, even where others may not
  • The internalize and absorb information in patterns and rhythms

Activites that children with musical intelligence will enjoy

  • Listening to music
  • Singing songs, and rhymes
  • Working with numbers and number theory as they grow up. (It is possible that the great Indian mathematician Srinivasan Ramanujam who could see patterns in numbers was musically intelligent, because he could see patterns in the numbers before he made them into generic formulae and equations.)
  • Learning languages and grammar
  • Learning, ciphering and deciphering codes and symbols

Helping children with musical intelligence learn

For children with musical intelligence, music, rhythms and patterns, are the best pathways to help them learn.
  • Get them books with rhythmic language
  • Help them create musical mnemonics when they learn things
  • Get them books which have number games, word pattern games
  • Help them find patterns in everything they see and learn
  • When they learn new concepts, have them write songs or repeat it to you in a musical tune of their choice

Toys and materials that you should have for children with musical intelligence

  • Dr. Seuss books
  • Song and rhyme books
  • Number games
  • Word pattern games
  • Visual pattern games
  • Games using symbols and codes
  • Puzzles
  • Music from all over the world
  • Musical instruments

Examples of how to teach various topics to children with musical intelligence


  • To teach multiplication tables, set the tables to music and let them learn it in a singsong tune.
  • When they do a problem with equations, tell them to sing aloud each operation they have to carry out.


  • If you are teaching them Newton's laws of physics,  set them to music.
  • Make a musical (drama with singing dialogues) about scientists and what they discovered
  • Use tuning forks, water, sand etc., to make up experiments revolving around sound


  • Teach about various countries and cultures, by playing various kinds of music (drums are one example)
  • Teach children the national anthems or atleast the tunes of a few countries around the globe
  • Show them the patterns in rock formations, river meanderings, etc.,


  • Show them how musical instruments evolved over time
  • Watch old movies with your children and discuss the various sounds in the movies - the hooves of horses striking the road, the whistle of steam trains, the way people spoke etc.,
  • Make up songs about various historical events.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Optimizing Early Brain and Motor Development Through Movement

Optimizing Early Brain and Motor Development Through Movement
By Carl Gabbard, Ed.D., and Luis Rodrigues
It appears that research is now supporting what we in early childhood education have been saying for years. That is, positive early experiences forge the foundations for lifelong learning and behavior. And, to optimize the development of each child, a rich nurturing environment is required (Diamond & Hopson, 1998; Fischer & Rose, 1998). Such support has been abundant in news articles and journal publications in connection with the importance of early experience in brain development of the young child (Begley, 1997; Nash, 1997). In essence, “rich environments produce rich brains,” and an essential agent in this process is movement activity!

In addition to supporting the need for early education, what science now provides is a better understanding of the critical periods or “windows of opportunity.” These critical periods help us identify when positive experiences may be most beneficial in the developmental process. The intent of this article is to provide a brief overview of the underlying science and from research suggest recommendations for developmentally appropriate movement experiences to optimize general brain and motor development.

New Perspectives on Early Brain Development

Of all the discoveries that have come out of brain research in recent years, one of the most intriguing has been a hint of how the neural circuitry develops. The “wiring” of the brain is an amazing phenomenon of precision considering that the mature brain contains in excess of 100 billion neurons that are intricately connected with one another in ways that make possible the amazing functions underlying human behavior. Each neuron links up with thousands of other neurons to form trillions of connections. The total length of “wiring” between neurons is estimated at 62,000 miles (Coveney & Highfield, 1995).

As early as 15 years ago researchers believed that the wiring diagram for each person was primarily “programmed” by one’s genetic blueprints, much like the wiring of a new house before being occupied. However, the contemporary view is that while the main circuits may be prewired, such as for breathing, control of heart beat, and reflexes, other basic pathways are quite rudimentary, containing trillions of finer “unprogrammed” tentative connections. These connections are dependent upon stimulation from the environment and experience in the environment. It is this stimulation that completes the architecture of the brain.

Scientists now believe that to achieve the precision of the mature brain, stimulation in the form of movement and sensory experiences during the early developing years is necessary (Greenough & Black, 1992; Shatz, 1992). Experience appears to exert its effects by strengthening and bonding synapses, which are the connections that are made between neurons. Connections that are not made by activity, or are weak, are “pruned away,” much like the pruning of dead or weak branches of a tree. If the neurons are used, they become integrated into the circuitry of the brain. Due to differences in experience, not even identical twins are wired the same (Chugani, 1998).

The primary basis for the importance of movement and sensory experiences was derived from studies which compared brain structures of animals raised in various environmentally normal, deprived, and enriched settings. The enriched settings provided the opportunity to interact with toys, treadmills, and obstacle courses. Overall, such research has led to the conclusion that stimulation is a significant factor in overall brain development (Jones & Greenough, 1996; Kempermann & Gage, 1999). Animals placed in enriched environments had brains that were larger and contained more synaptic connections.

Implications for the Early Childhood Educator
One of the strongest implications of brain research has been the identification of critical periods in brain development in which experience may be most effective in forging connections in wiring the brain. Studies with young children using modern neuroimaging, pictures of the brain, have provided the basis for identifying the periods of exuberate neural connectivity associated with the windows of opportunity (Chugani, 1998). These critical periods have more recently been referred to as “windows of opportunity;” nature opens certain windows for experience to have the greatest effect. These windows begin opening before birth and then narrow as a child grows older. In theory, there are a series of windows for developing motor control, vision, language, feelings, etc. If a child misses an opportunity, his or her brain may not develop its circuitry to its full potential for a specific function. Does this mean that a child will be impaired? Not likely, except in abnormally deprived conditions. What we are talking about is “optimizing” individual development. As just noted, the hypothetical window narrows, it does not close shut, as some earlier studies had inferred. Considerable restructuring and learning takes place over adulthood.

Windows for Motor Development
For basic gross-motor skills, the general window of opportunity appears to be open from the prenatal period to around age five. Once again, this is a period in which experience is vital to laying the “foundation” of brain circuits dedicated to motor control. The primary motor circuits that connect to the cerebellum, which controls posture and coordination, forge during the first two years. It is during this period that the child begins to gain considerable experience in the world as he or she “moves” about in the environment. Once again it is suggested that physical activity is a strong determinant in the early development of the brain, not just motor control. It seems reasonable that the critical period for finer muscle control and timing, which typically follow gross-motor development, would be open from shortly after birth to about age nine. This information has strong implications for developing the primary circuits needed for learning skills that require a high degree of manual dexterity, such as playing a musical instrument or performing precise manual operations. There is also speculation that the general window of opportunity for most behavioral functions narrows considerably around age 10 (Chugani, 1998).

What We Can Do

As noted earlier, the general time frames for the windows of opportunity are still quite speculative. This is especially true in regard to the types and effects of specific movement activities. Nevertheless, few researchers would deny that early movement experiences are critical to optimal brain development. To be of maximum benefit, movement experiences should be introduced early in life and during the windows of opportunity. Certainly, this is not to say that such activities should not be stressed beyond the critical period. Motor skills enhance our lives at all ages and a positive attitude about habitual physical activity sets the foundation for a lifetime of good health.

Although it seems quite reasonable that a comprehensive developmentally appropriate movement program would be effective in enhancing early brain and motor skill development, the following recommendations are offered based on the research discussed.

1.       Provide children with lots of sensory-motor experiences, especially of the visual-motor variety. This would include activities that integrate visual information with fine- and gross-motor movements. Such activities include striking, kicking, and catching.

2.       Include a variety of basic gross-motor activities that involve postural control, coordination of movements, and locomotion – crawling, creeping, body rolling, and jumping. In addition to stimulating the general wiring patterns of these fundamental skills, moderate and vigorous intensity gross-motor activity provide the brain with its chief energy source, glucose. In essence, these activities increase blood flow, which feeds the brain and enhances neuronal connectivity during the critical period.

3.       Combine movement activities and music. Although the jury is still out regarding the relationship between musical experience and specific academic achievement, the combination of music with movement presents an excellent learning medium for young children.

4.       What follows are the recently released activity guidelines for children birth to five years and a brief description of appropriate movement activities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers (NASPE, 2002).

Physical Activity Guidelines for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (NASPE, 2002)
Infants (Birth–12 months)
Guideline 1:
Infants should interact with parents and/or caregivers in daily physical activities that are dedicated to promoting the exploration of their environment.
Guideline 2:
Infants should be placed in safe settings that facilitate physical activity and do not restrict
movement for prolonged periods of time.
Guideline 3:
Infants’ physical activity should promote the development of movement skills.
Guideline 4:
Infants should have an environment that meets or exceeds recommended safety
standards for performing large muscle activities.
Guideline 5:
Individuals responsible for the well being of infants should be aware of the
importance of physical activity and facilitate the child’s movement skills.

Movement Activity Ideas for Infants- To promote movement in infants, provide colorful and moving mobiles over their cribs that they can reach and grasp or kick with their feet. In addition, play games that encourage infants to “come and get” toys within crawling or reaching distance. Infants should also be given opportunities to play with large blocks, stacking toys, nesting cups, textured balls, and squeeze toys (NASPE, 2002). Be sure that none of the items can be swallowed and have sharp points or edges.
Toddlers (12-36 months) 
Guideline 1:

Toddlers should accumulate at least 30 minutes daily of structured physical activity.
Guideline 2:
Toddlers should engage in at least 60 minutes and up to several hours per day of daily, unstructured physical activity and should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time except when sleeping.
Guideline 3:
Toddlers should develop movement skills that are building blocks for more complex movement tasks.
Guideline 4:
Toddlers should have indoor and outdoor areas that meet or exceed recommended safety standards for performing large muscle activities.
Guideline 5:
Individuals responsible for the well-being of toddlers should be aware of the importance of physical activity and facilitate the child’s movement skills.

Movement Activity Ideas for Toddlers–As toddlers begin to explore and master the movements of their own bodies, it is important to provide them with a variety of movement activities that introduce basic gross motor skills such as striking, kicking, catching, and bouncing balls of different sizes and shapes. Toddlers should also be given a variety of manipulatives, such as building blocks, rings, and large puzzles. It is also important to give them opportunities to develop their fine-motor skills by encouraging them to scribble and draw with crayons and pencils.

Preschoolers (3-5 years) 
Guideline 1:

Preschoolers should accumulate at least 60 minutes daily of structured physical activity.
Guideline 2: 
Preschoolers should engage in at least 60 minutes and up to several hours of daily, unstructured physical activity and should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time except when sleeping.
Guideline 3:
Preschoolers should develop competence in movement skills that are building blocks for more complex movement tasks.
Guideline 4:
Preschoolers should have indoor and outdoor areas that meet or exceed recommended safety
standards for performing large muscle activities.
Guideline 5:
Individuals responsible for the well-being of preschoolers should be aware of the importance of physical activity and facilitate the child’s movement skills.

Movement Activity Ideas for Preschoolers– Preschoolers should be give a wide variety of movement experiences that require coordinating body movements with visual information, such as ball rolling, throwing and catching balls, and striking or kicking. Preschoolers can also be introduced to activities that elevate the heart rate such as dancing, biking, jump rope, swimming, and brisk walking. Experiences with outdoor play equipment stimulate movement exploration and creative play. And providing preschoolers with opportunities to draw, play musical instruments, and complete puzzles can further develop fine-motor development.


In addition to developing the motor system and laying the foundation for a positive attitude about physical activity, early childhood programs are finding that movement is a very effective learning medium for the young child. Through the use of movement experiences, educators can stimulate problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and reinforce a variety of academic concepts. As interpreted from the work of Robert Sylwester (1995), author of A Celebration of Neurons, such experiences aid learning and retention by creating a multidimensional mental model of the experience. This is a concept that is certainly not new, but unfortunately appears to have had little impact in early childhood programming.