Children love learning about their brain. It’s very empowering to understand how our brain processes information and how it is wired to react under stress. They love to learn that we have choices of how we react to stressful situations. Learning about the 3 parts of our brain, the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and the amygdala helps children (and adults) understand how their feelings arise - and that they have the ability to change how they react to events. This understanding helps them begin to learn self-regulation strategies. The following activities are found in The Mind Up Curriculum (grades pre-K to 2) from Scholastic.
- Expand children’s thinking about their brains with the following song:
My brain is so very important; it helps me do most everything, located here in my head; it’s why I can think, choose, and sing. My brain, my brain; it is so important to me, to me, my brain, my brain, it is so important to me.
My brain, it helps me think and remember; my brain tells me fight, flee, or freeze; It helps all my parts work together, and that’s why I just have to say, my brain, my brain; it is so important to me, to me, My brain, my brain; it is so important to me.
- Write the lyrics on chart paper. Before introducing the song to children, practice singing it several times to the tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.” Use gestures and movement to act out the words and phrases.
- Discuss: After singing the song with children a few times, as them to talk about what their brains help them do every day and why they think their brains are so important to them.