Neuroplasticity is probably one of the most amazing thing we have discovered about the brain. While our ability to re-wire our brains is nothing to scoff at, the best thing is still to do what we can to develop the brain as early as possible – starting in the first few years of a child’s life. If you’re looking for guidance on how to start, there are now many, many books available on brain building for children. I can’t say I’ve read even a fraction of them but Pam Schiller‘s “Start Smart: Building Brain Power in the Early Years” is a book I wish I had discovered 7 years ago.
What does it cover?
We have covered some of these topics previously and I have attached links to our earlier posts. These links are not necessarily related to the book’s content.
- CHAPTER 1 – Sniff, Sniff: Aromas and the Brain
- CHAPTER 2 – Thinking It Through: Choices and the Brain
- CHAPTER 3 – I Feel Blue: Color and the Brain
- CHAPTER 4 – Always Across: Cross-Lateral Movement and the Brain
- CHAPTER 5 – I Feel, I Remember: Emotions and the Brain
- CHAPTER 6 – Hop, Skip, Jump: Exercise and the Brain
- CHAPTER 7 – Right and Left: Hemispheres and the Brain
- CHAPTER 8 – Water, Water, Everywhere: Hydration and the Brain
- CHAPTER 9 – Laughter and Learning: Laughter and the Brain
- CHAPTER 10 – I Hear! I See! I Do! Learning Styles and the Brain
- CHAPTER 11 – Touch, Toss, Turn, Twirl: Movement and the Brain
- CHAPTER 12 – Start with a Song: Music and the Brain
- CHAPTER 13 – The Power of New: Novelty and the Brain
- CHAPTER 14 – Feeding the Brain: Nutrition and the Brain
- CHAPTER 15 – Less Is More! Over stimulation and the Brain
- CHAPTER 16 – More than Plaids: Patterns and the Brain
- CHAPTER 17 – Try, Try, Again: Practice and the Brain
- CHAPTER 18 – Solving Problems: Problem Solving and the Brain
- CHAPTER 19 – Praise or Encouragement: Rewards, Praise, and the Brain
- CHAPTER 20 – Spanish, Japanese, Vietnamese: Second Language Learning and the Brain
- CHAPTER 21 – What Does It Mean? Sense, Meaning, and the Brain
- CHAPTER 22 – The Hand-Brain Connection: Small Muscles and the Brain
- CHAPTER 23 – Calm, Cool, and Collected? Stress and the Brain
- CHAPTER 24 – The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown: Technology and the Brain
It is a lot of information to cover in one book, especially one that is only 160 pages, so you won’t get the depth that each topic deserves but it does provide a terrific overview with references you can look up if you want to find out more. It is also really handy because it offers simple activities you can introduce to young children to help them develop areas of the brain related to the subjects discussed.
The information in this book is intended to be applied to children in their early years but I believe it is still relevant to older children up to 10 years of age.