DIY — Get your brain in gear — Do Something!

kids playing twisterDelana H. Stewart

Yesterday, I talked with a mom whose child receives Occupational Therapy for sensory processing and sensory integration. She talked about the benefits she’s noticed, not just from the therapy but from physical activity (in her child’s life and in her own life).

A couple of month’s ago, I had the privilege of attending a workshop led by two ladies who work at Integrated Therapy Services in Richmond, VA. They shared that physical activity actually releases good endorphines that help the brain.

The mother I spoke with yesterday expressed concern about living in an apartment and not being able to allow her kids to jump and run and get the kind of activity that they needed for good development. She mentioned adverse weather conditions contributing to her dilemma. The spokeswomen from ITS recommended a host of great ideas which include the following activities:swing, swinging, rope climbing

* Modify jobs/chores to allow for pushing, pulling, sliding, carrying, lifting and stacking.

* Seat or wall push-ups.

* Lifting weights (you can easily make your own).

* Writing on chalk board and cleaning chalkboard.

* Wheelbarrow walks, donkey kicks, army crawls, crab walking.

Here is a great site for making your own therapy tools.

The other day a 4 year old was playing with my 8 year old. The 4 year old sat on a small rug (thin one without slip protection) and held onto the handle of a jumprope. I took the rope and dragged him down the hallway. He thought that was great. My daughter then decided she would pull him for rides. Interestingly, he was also able to pull her for a short ride. This is less likely to disturb your neighbors then actually jumping rope indoors (unless of course your kids scream with glee).

The therapists from ITS also shared the importance of eliminating or greatly reducing  TV, computers, and electronics for the first seven years of a child’s life (and no screen time for kids two and under). These first seven years need to be devoted to sensory experiences. Screen time starves the brain of what it needs. They also talked about the importance of a high protein breakfast and the benefits of Omega-3 supplements. These therapists recommend the book Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Lindsay Biel. It is available from for about $10 (and this site also includes some of the pages of the book to preview).

Learn more about Occupational Therapy from the ITS website.


Also check out:


Note: Check out one mom’s experience with eliminating the addiction of electronics:


Here’s an interesting illustration on improving your brain’s memory…

See also: Are You Taking Care of Their Hearts: Tips from the American Heart Association


9 thoughts on “DIY — Get your brain in gear — Do Something!

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  8. My understanding is that it has to be good quality Omega 3. Fish oil rather than fish liver oil, for example. Nordic are the ones we use for our children (cost a fortune, but I happily go without something else), and we use more than what they say. Has been great for our eldest son who is a bit ADHD-ish at times.
    Also agree on the protein side of things. We spread our protein load through the day, and that helps things along well too.

    My two cents worth!

  9. This post was enlightening to me. I’m aware of the benefits of Omega 3 in adult diet but was not thinking to include it in children’s diet. “Restricted screen time for children in the first 7 years”, yes, I totally agree with this. Lastly, I will buy Lindsay Biel’s book.
    Thanks, great post. Glad I came across your blog.

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