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5 simple ways to maintain your child’s brain health these holidays

5 simple ways to maintain your child’s brain health these holidays

December 11, 2012

Prevent brain drain during the holidays with these 5 simple steps:

1.     Limit TV time and pick up a book:

Kids tend to enjoy watching TV because it’s a passive activity that often doesn’t require much thinking.
While it’s fine to vege out and switch off a little, a lot of TV time will likely cause cognitive regression.
Instead of watching TV for long periods, encourage your child to read a book as reading is cognitively stimulating… and can be just as enjoyable.

2.     Exercise and play:

Don’t let your child turn into a couch potato these school holidays!
Exercise is important for physical health, motor development, social interaction and it even promotes the formation of new brain cells.
Play is essential for younger children as it enables them to learn: for example, hitting a ball teaches cause and effect, imaginative play promotes creativity, and making objects develops an awareness of space and size.

3.     Try to maintain sleep routines:

Sleep is critical for vital cognitive skills and children need a lot more sleep than adults.
Sleep routines often fall by the wayside during the school holidays which can affect children’s behaviour, mood, energy levels and general brain health.
Click here for guidelines on how much sleep kids of different ages actually need.

4.     Eat well:

Researchers have found that diet has a huge impact on brain development and mental function, with poor nutrition being associated with reduced academic performance and behavioural problems.
During the holidays it can be difficult to feed your child whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods all the time but it’s very important to limit their consumption of snack foods that contain little or no nutritional benefit.
Consuming a “brain healthy” diet at least 80% of the time is not only beneficial for your child’s physical development but has also been shown to promote healthy brain growth, positive behaviours and learning development.
Click here for more information about “brain healthy” diets.

5.     Participate in cognitive training:

The summer holidays offer a well-deserved break after a long, hard academic year.
While it is important to allow your child time to relax and play, it is equally important to keep their brain stimulated and prevent regression.
Sonic Learning offers two evidence-based computer courses that present the perfect compromise between play and workFast ForWord and Cogmed.

Interested in learning more about Sonic Learning’s programs? Contact our team of health and education professionals to discuss your child’s learning.

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