Left Brain vs. Right Brain: Activities to Boost Both Sides of the Brain
By Andrew Loh
Both lobes of brain are entirely different, when you consider their
activities. Both lobes are important for leading a balanced life.
However, in nature, one side of the brain might be stronger than the
other side. Things are not different among children. With a growing
brain, children tend to show a remarkable difference between the two
lobes of the brain. While the left side is important for classroom and
academic activities, the right side is important for others. For an
optimum life performance, parents should try to train their children, to
develop both sides of the brain. It may look very difficult to carry out
this activity. However, concerted efforts will help you
achieve your cherished objectives. Here are some simple tips to train your
children to streamline their brain activities. The art of whole brain
training is quite difficult, because you will be dealing with two
different lobes of brain, each with its own specialties and capabilities.
The whole brain learning is a system of developing overall
neural development, by improving nerve connections between two lobes of
brain. This will eventually result in establishing a much stronger and
robust mind-body nerve pathway. The whole-brain training not only
relates to classroom and academic performance. It also deals with a
number of other skills and capabilities, other than academic and
scholastic abilities. A wholesome brain is the one that performs better
under any conditions including academic, social, logical and
To improve social skills, you may need to include activities that help your
children learn how to make proper choices, plan and decide and become
independent in life. Most children, who are right brain endowed, are
somewhat poor in expressing themselves in front of other people. Here
are some activities that enhance the left-brain abilities:
Play scrabble and word games: Scrabble game is relaxing and it extends the
vocabulary power of a child. Sit down with your child and play a game of
scrabble. Help your chidden to construct simple words and syllables. Explain the meaning
of words in a simple manner. If possible, ask them to use the words by
making simple sentences.
Example: If the word “please” is created, ask
your children to use that word in a sentence. The sentence could read
like this, “Please give me a cup of milk”.
Debate and exchange
ideas: Debating on a particular topic is an excellent tool to learn how
to speak in front of others. When someone is debating or exchanging
ideas, they can apply their brain functions to express themselves, so
that everyone will understand their mind. Debate is also a big stress
buster and it can eradicate the fear of appearing on the stage as well.
Role-play: Role-play enhances confidence level and boosts social
interaction among young children. Give a topic to create a session of
role-play. It could be a session at the post office, where one of your
children will be become the Post Master, while others, clients, who
seek some services.
Creativity is a cornerstone of life. Without creativity, people will
be like walking and breathing vegetables. In addition, creativity
is a tool to create something that could be unique and special. Right brain
children are very creative and they can create simple things out of nothing.
On the other hand, left-brain children are rather poor in this area.
Clay modeling is perhaps the oldest brain-boosting activity in the
history. Clay modeling has the ability to streamline creative
functioning area of the brain, like imagination, image building, holistic
approach and hand-eye movement coordination. When your children play
with models and clay, their finger movements become stronger, which is
the primary need to develop creativity. To be creative and artistic,
very young children in the age group of 3 to 6 years should develop
proper hand movements especially the thumbs. Stronger thumbs mean that they
have the ability to hold objects properly without any unstable movements.
All painters and sculptors have very strong and stable thumbs and
Example: Experts suggest that young children should
pluck grass from your backyard garden to strengthen fingers and their
movements. Holding a pen or a pencil will also help them learn and
master finger and hand movements. Drawing and painting with different objects like
crayon, oil paints and watercolors will help them understand the major
differences between colors and their combination. Let them draw whatever
the image they want and color them. With this activity, they can see the
world as a whole. Imagination is another positive aspect that comes
naturally to such children. Give them models of different things and ask
them to relate with natural objects. They should be able to
recognize different objects by sight, sound, touch, feel and smell.
Language skills come naturally to left brained children. They have very strong affinity to converse
with other people and express their minds. On the contrary, left-brain
children are quite poor in this side. The most important goal is to
train your children in the area of communication and acquisition of
Examples: Dialogues and communication are the
two most important activities. Ensure that you talk to your children
everyday to improve their language skills. Communication comes easily to
those children, who develop speaking skills by talking to other with
confidence and courage. Pick up a topic and start a dialogue on it. Make sure that
your children speak more than you do. They should ask questions and
answer yours. Verbal skills will also be fine-tuned in this way. Give
them drawing competition by giving a particular topic. They should be
able to draw some images and write their explanations below each image.
Storybook reading and learning signs and symbols are the other
left-brain boosting activities.
Spatial relations and movements
Spatial relationship is an extraordinary brain skill. On the other hand,
spatial movement is an offshoot of spatial relationship and it can enhance
right brain power. Children, who are strong in this skill, are capable enough to analyze
different information bits and create a meaningful spatial sequence.
Introduce several activities to enhance this special brainpower.
Examples: Anchored movements like twisting, bending, rocking, and arm
swinging and picking up objects from the ground, are some of the simple
activities that will help your children in many ways. Running, jumping,
hopping, skipping and walking are the other activities that can enhance
spatial thinking. Train your children on how to act upon directions.
Give them some directions and follow them; this activity will help them
learn symbols and decipher codes and hidden meanings.
Brain boosting activities for a whole-brain development come in many forms and
patterns. However, what you want to use will depend on what exactly
you want from your children. In many cases, parents want to enhance the
right side of the brain, because it relates to better academic and
scholastic performance at the school. One thing to remember is very
thought-provoking - your children will need an all round brain development.
Concentrating on just one area of the brain may turn to be
counter-productive. If your child is left-brain strong, you will have to
work very hard to improve the other side. In fact, these children always pose
a big challenge to their parents.
Raising a Left-Brain Child in a Right-Brain World: Strategies for Helping Bright,
Quirky, Socially Awkward Children to Thrive at Home and at School
By Katharine Beals, Ph.D
Dr. Beals, is an educator and the mother of three left-brain children. A former
public school teacher, she is a faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate
School of Education. Her writing on parenting has appeared in Mothering magazine and The
Philadelphia Inquirer. She lives in Philadelphia.
This book brims with sound, practical advice for nurturing children who don't fit
into the commonly accepted patterns of "normal development", yet possess
remarkable gifts. A must-read for parents, educators, and mental health professionals.
Dr. Beals shows parents how to campaign for left-brain friendly education reform, advocate
for their socially awkward children.
Unicorns Are Real: A Right-Brained Approach to Learning (Creative Parenting/Creative Teaching Series)
By Barbara Meister Vitale
This mega-best seller provides 65 practical, easy-to-follow
lessons to develop the much-ignored right-brain tendencies
of children. These simple yet dramatically effective ideas
and activities have helped thousands with learning
difficulties. Includes an easy-to-administer screening
checklist for parents and teachers which enables them
identify individual learning preferences and determine
Learn how to utilize colors, shapes, movement,
visualizations, touch and sound to help students of all ages
learn to read, tell time, add, subtract, and even spell
correctly. Included are engaging instructional activities
that draw on the intuitive, nonverbal abilities of the right
brain, a list of skills associated with each brain
hemisphere, and much more.