January 11, 2017

With 30th January fast (or slowly) approaching, Mums around the country begin preparing for the new school year.

Books, bags, uniforms, shoes, stationery, etc. etc. It’s a huge list! But there’s something we often don’t think of because it isn’t always so obvious… What do kids need to have ready to start a new semester? More than anything else (except pants)?

Brain power!

With the holidays dragging on, it may well be the last thing on your mind. Just keeping the rascals entertained (and out of trouble) becomes a full-time job. Who has time to make them sit down and study, read and learn? That’s the last thing they will want to do!

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Here’s the thing, though, my 5 favourite tips have been made with this thought in mind, each of them fits well into the crazy Christmas holiday schedule!

  • Get the right amount of sleep

I’ll be honest, this is probably the hardest one on the list. But it’s also one of the most important tips around. Getting enough sleep will do miracles for your kids whereas physiological downsides of a lack of sleep may have detrimental effects on them.

Specifically, sleep helps your brain create new connections between brain cells, which enables it to store new information you learnt that day! So (try) and stick to that bedtime schedule, and maybe let them sleep in just a little bit longer. It’s good for your kids!

  • Get lots of exercise

Don’t skip the physical exercise. Great idea! Backed up by science, physical activity boosts your brain and gets your heart pumping, which leads to better circulation.

Exercises that make use of hand-eye coordination or complex motor skills help the most. Physical activity can also help bump the afternoon slump! Physical activity is one of the best ways to improve mental well-being. This is because it helps develop neural pathways and as a result, it will create better mental abilities.

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  • Socialise and laugh

Socialisation has benefits for short-term memory improvement as well as general cognitive health. Having a laugh with family and friends lets your body release good hormones, such as endorphins and dopamine (“feel good hormones”).

We humans are highly social animals, and we are meant to be together. Isolation has numerous negative effects on us. So, even while you may want to be left alone, social interaction is healthy! Even better, it gives you an excuse to make the kids someone else’s problem for an afternoon.

  • Teach something

Here’s one you can turn into a game or competition. Teaching something has been shown to help not only educate another person but also to solidify your understanding of the topic. If your child has struggled with a particular topic, or there is something they should be learning, have them teach it to you or their sibling.

Or even combine it with number 3, and have them teach it to a friend. Win-win! This can be a great excuse to find something they would love to learn about but may not have thought of in the past.

Maybe they love astronomy, or dinosaurs, or ballet. Find something, put together some material (lots of free documentaries available on YouTube too) and then ask them to teach you something about it.

  • Last, but most important. Their diet.

You are what you eat, literally. And for children, this is twice as true. A growing mind and body require (constant) healthy nourishment. Some of the best brain super foods include blueberries, green tea, and fatty fish.

For mental acuity and brain power, but there are certain things you should be aiming to understand in more detail. Understanding carbohydrates, Omega-3 Fats and Antioxidants and the effect they have on your child’s mind is extremely important.

I know just how crazy and stressful the holidays can be. But your child’s mind is their most important asset, now and in the future. So try and fit these 5 tips into your schedule to try and boost their brainpower as much as possible before January 30. If you can do so, I promise your kids will be ready and willing to tackle the new school year. They might even learn a thing or two!

How do you get your kids ready to go back to school? Let us know in the comments. 


  • I think the diet should be every day not just with school

    Reply


  • The diet is the most important aspect. Get that right and the rest will follow.

    Reply


  • I didn’t realise how important diet was until we spent a week away with grandparents and the kids ate so badly and were nuisances. It wasn’t until we got home and they got back to their normal diet that they calmed down!


    • Yes, junk food is full of additives and we have much evidence that the ADHD is linked to them.

    Reply


  • My did all these in every day life. I think most are reluctant to return to school especially after the Xmas hols


    • Unfortunately, these tips don’t improve their willingness to go to school :)

    Reply

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