braininsights Newsletter
Inspiring REAL Brain Development For All Young Children
In This Issue
Brain Facts to Share
Brains Learn Much Through Nature
New Activity Packet Available
Week Of the Young Child
On The Web
Join The List!
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links
braininsights Mission
braininsights is dedicated to creating a broad awareness and understanding of the importance of early brain development.
Issue: #10
Learning and Nature Issue

April 2010


I hope you enjoyed The Week of the Young Child! Isn't it wonderful to have a week devoted toward the importance of the early years?

Through out the past week it has been fun posting blogs on various aspects of the influences on children's brains. These posts coordinated with the themes of the National Association for the Education of Young Children for this year. It certainly is also advantageous to have this week during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Further awareness is created for the benefits of all children through the work of numerous individuals, programs, agencies and businesses. Connecting with increasing numbers of people throughout the country and world it is extremely exciting to witness the growing interest in promoting early brain development!

This week is celebrated as Earth Week, so I've dedicated this issue of the newsletter, brain facts, and family activities to the benefits of nature and the brain. I hope you enjoy!

Thanks as always for your contributions in making this happen.
Hopefully all that is provided below will be beneficial to your efforts!

Deborah McNelis
Owner and Creator of braininsights
Did you know....?

Research demonstrates the stressful events in life have less psychological distress when children live in environments with more nature exposure.

..... When exposed to busy city environments filled with several things to monitor, notice, and keep track of at the same time the brain is less able to hold things in memory.

...... Short amounts of time, glimpses of nature, or even looking at photos of natural environments improves brain performance.

Tell everyone you know!!
playing in a puddle
With Earth Day on April 22nd this week it is a wonderful opportunity to once again accentuate the benefits nature provides for the brain.

As I continually emphasize, the brain learns best through using our senses and direct interaction. The brain is also curious and loves novelty. Nature provides all of these wonderful opportunities.

In the book, Last Child in The Woods, author Richard Louv shares insights and research on how valuable nature is for children's development. One quote from North Carolina State University Professor, Robin Moorestates:

"Children live through their senses. Sensory experiences link the child's exterior world with their interior, hidden, affective world. Since the natural environment is the principal source of sensory stimulation, freedom to explore and play with the outdoor environment through the senses in their own space and time is essential for healthy development of and interior life. This type of self-activated, autonomous interaction is what we call free play. Individual children test themselves by interacting with their environment, activating their potential and reconstructing human culture. "

Louv also includes a statement from Standford University School of Medicine professor, Frank Wilson:

"We are creatures identified by what we do with our hands. Much of our learning comes from doing, from making, from feeling with our hands; and though many would like to believe otherwise, the world is not entirely available from a keyboard..... For a whole generation of kids, direct experiences in the backyard, in the tool shed, in the fields and woods, has been replaced by indirect learning, through machines."

There is an increase in awareness of all that children are deprived of when there is a lack of time to play, explore, and experience nature. We can use Earth Day as an opportunity to expand this understanding!

Throughout the week each daily Family Activity Idea shared on the braininsights websitewill be centered on learning through nature. Have fun and enjoy all the benefits being outdoors provides for your brain!

If you are aware of additional articles on this topic that others can benefit from please forward them to me and I will share with braininsights readers! 
If you are a parent or a professional working with children and families, you can get activity ideas on how to easily incorporate loving interactions into a daily routine and learn how it all benefits brain development by visiting for The Brain Development Series.

Your organization or workplace will also benefit from learning more about the brain. To arrange a presentation
that fits your needs, contact Deborah at
Help Me Thrive While I'm Five Introducing the Sixth Packet in the Brain Development Series
Help Me Thrive While I'm Five provides 40 activity ideas to promote learning throughout everyday life. The activities are designed for providing the fun and stimulation the five year old brain needs even when parents are busy.

The five year old packetsare specially priced at $7.99this month for an introductory offer. All other activity packetsare also on sale to celebrate.

Read more about "Help Me Thrive While I'm Five" or the other packets in The Brain Development Series here.
Last Week, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrated the Week of the Young Child!  The goal of this week is to bring awareness to the needs of young children and their families and this year the theme is "Early Years Are Learning Years." 

The focus of the NAEYCweek fits perfectly into braininsights' mission. I participated in the Week of the Young Child to do my part to continue to focus the attention and bring awareness to the role we all have in influencing a child's early years.

Throughout the week I continued to post a daily brain fact and a daily blog that corresponded with the Week of the Young Child'ssubthemes. The following were discussed
Play: Where Learning Begins
Teaching and Teachers Matter
Making the Connections to Healthy Brains
Brain Power Through "Smart" Investments
Sign up hereto have the postings delivered directly to your email inbox so you don't miss any of the topics. Enjoy and share these for the benefit of our wonderful children!

For more details visit Early Childhood Brain Insights


TV Rebellion* Join The Great TV Rebellion.  The Biomimicry Institute is asking people to turn off their tv's during Earth Week and enjoy Nature!  You can take the pledge here and download the Nature Journal for kids or a Workbook for Parents and Teachers with Activity Ideas. 

* April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. On April 26, I will have a blog posting about the effects of Child Abuse on the brain and what you can do to prevent child abuse. 

* April is also the Month of the Military Child. 1.7 million children in this country have a parent in the military. On April 28, I will have a blog postingabout the unique issues military children face and activity ideas for their parents at home or deployed. 

* Additionally, April is Autism Awareness Month. Currently 1 in 110 children are living with Autism. Find out more about Autism here

* On April 29th from 2-3 EST, I will be on the Atlanta, GA radio Show, Parents Rule! You can listen liveon the internet or download after the show here
* braininsightsis a proud sponsor of National Mom's Nite Outon May 6.  The evening will consist of local events held across the country, as well as mom-organized parties and virtual activities. braininsights will be giving awayactivity packets and offering discounts to participants to add to the fun.

* Mother's Day is just around the corner and braininsights activity packetsmake great Mother's Day gifts. Order your packets during this week's special sale and save on this wonderful gift idea. 

* Remember each day the braininsights website has a new Family Activity Idea. Check the website often for great ideas to do with the children in your life.

* The Brain Development Series Packetsare also available on If you own the packets or have used the activity packets, please write a review on Amazon

* There are a number of upcoming braininsightspresentations around the country. Presentations include Brain Development:The Natural Wayat the Schlitz Audubon Center in Milwaukee, WI, the Georgia Dietetics Conference in Atlanta, GA, the WFCCA Conference in Wisconsin Dells, WI. View the entire presentation schedule hereand bookor attend a presentation today!

* Recent blog posts at Early Childhood Brain InsightEarly Childhood Brain Insights Blogs include The Effects of Poverty and The Brain, Play, Laughter, Outdoors and Healthy Brains, and "BABIES" The Movie. Also posted are the Week of the Young Childtopics. Read these posts, brain facts, and more hereand sign up to receive new posts delivered directly to your inbox. 

* The BRAIN (Brains Require All Investing Now) Initiative was recently launched. You can find more about the BRAIN initiative here or become become part of the BRAIN initiative by signing up for the BRAIN Newsletter here.  (make sure the BRAIN box is checked)

* Vote for the Early Childhood Brain Insights Blogas a Top Baby Blog. Just click hereand you have voted! 
Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs


braininsights logo
Read the braininsights blog,
"Early Childhood Brain Insights" and sign upfor posting updates!
Become a Fan of braininsights on Facebook

Follow braininsights on Twitter

Help Me Thrive While I'm Five

Help Me Thrive While I'm Five

All Other Activity Packets Also On Sale  

Offer Expires:  April 30, 2010
Regular Price $9.99