After compiling right brain resources and learning about right brain activities that I can practice at home with Gavin, I have discovered that it isn’t easy getting Gavin’s cooperation. Since right brain education is about having fun, forcing Gavin to take part in the activities is clearly out of the question. What is a mother to do?
Introducing Thomas and Friends right brain educational materials…
1. ESP Games – Where are Thomas and his friends?
I hide a character from the Island of Sodor behind one of four famous landmarks. Then I ask Gavin to tell me which landmark the engine is hiding behind. This activity is also great for teaching him about famous landmarks around the world.
Since Gavin’s crazy about trains, I use pictures of trains instead of Mandala patterns. Although he doesn’t mind doing the Mandala books that I bought for him, I find that the pictures of trains seem to inspire him more.
Linking memory has never been much of a problem for Gavin because he loves stories. He has been able to remember up to 46 cards using the set of 1000 linking cards that I am compiling. I also play random linking memory with him, making up new stories and using more cards each time.
4. Memory Grid
With the memory grid, we use engines. Admittedly, this gives him an edge which means we have to use a bigger grid…
I usually use Smarties for this activity, but then there are only so many Smarties I can use without giving Gavin an OD on Smarties (since the idea is to let him eat the Smarties). I found this to be a better way to play this activity – guess the number of engines.
It used to be magic carpet rides. These days, we take flying trains to the magical Island of Sodor. It’s a little like a ride on the Hogwart’s express – at least in my mind it is, I’m not sure what Gavin sees in his. I steal a little out of Thomas and the Magic Railroad and talk about the conductor sprinkling his magic gold dust onto the railway tracks so that the engines can fly to the Island of Sodor. Gavin loves this story and is often asking me to take him to the Island of Sodor.
The key to the right brain is fun and it is easy to make any right brain activity fun if you know what motivates your child. And if you get it really right, he’ll be begging you for more. It used to be me asking Gavin whether he wanted to play [insert right brain activity]. These days, Gavin is the one asking me to let him play his new “Thomas game”…