by Dr Shen-Li Lee
It takes a lot of time and dedication to implement a home program for the kids and I confess that there are times when all I want to do is veg out in front of the TV with the kids. No wonder they call it the idiot box… This is why I love programs like BrillKids where all the lessons are prepared in advance for you. I tried doing my own Doman program, but after a while, I couldn’t keep up the the material preparations. All I had to do was fall asleep early one night and I would be behind schedule. As it is, I can barely keep up with my right brain home practice activities and all we do is speed play, linking memory, space memory, mandala and reading (not everyday either).
Initially, it was fun to prepare the materials. But fun quickly became tedious and boring. After the kids are in bed, I only have a limited amount of time to myself before I have to sleep but there are a hundred and one things I want to do – read my books, keep my blog up to date, practice right brain exercises on myself, watch a movie and spend quality time with hubby – just to name a few. The last thing I want to do is prepare lesson materials for the following day. Heck, sometimes I fall asleep with the kids and that means zero preparations.
If there were a way to automate the process to make my preparations easier, or better yet – a computer program that did all these things, wouldn’t it make my life so much easier? So I started looking around and here are some of the programs I’ve found…
1. Linking Memory
I have written about the three different ways you can do linking memory with your child – peg memory, sequential linking memory, and random linking memory. Personally, I prefer to do the random linking memory activity because I feel it requires more right brain muscle power compared to the other two methods which tend to rely on the left brain’s rote memory function. If I’ve gone through the cards enough, even I can remember 100 picture cards in order. Random linking memory, on the other hand, requires a lot more work.
Although I haven’t found a program that allows me to completely randomise the linking memory activity, there are many memory games available that can provide the same end result as the linking memory exercise.
- Shopping List Memory Game
- Memory Improvement
- Improve Your Memory (also great as an alternative for space memory)
- Vismory – this is another good space memory app
Alternatively, you can create your own powerpoint of random images and use a slideshow randomiser to change the order of the pictures. Having a deck of random images which you lay out onto the floor achieves the same thing (although this is difficult to do with a toddler who wants to pick up all your cards and mess them up).
Update: Mimir Art of Memory is a great app to try for practicing linking memory on the go.
Why make your own tangram when you can get an app for it? There are lots of cool tangrams apps available. These are my favourites:
- My first Tangrams – this is really great for the younger children
- LetsTans Deluxe – this one is great because it offers a variety of difficulties for all age groups.
While we’re on puzzle games, there are some great tangram alternatives created by Little White Bear:
3. Magic Eye Pictures
You can stop hunting for those illusive Magic Eye books now because there are a whole host of stereograms available on the following iPhone/iPad Apps:
4. Flash Cards
As I mentioned in an article some time back on Right Brain development games for older children, there are a number of brain training sites that offer a variety of games – some of which I feel can be helpful for developing the right brain. Although I initially suggested them for older children, I’ve noticed that Gavin can play them quite well, too. He isn’t as fast at it and he doesn’t rank well so the practice sessions are better for younger children. At the end of the day, it is the process of doing the activity that we’re interested in so it doesn’t really matter how they rank.
These are some sites that I found with interesting brain training games:
- Lumosity (they also have an app for the iPhone)
- PositScience – Brain Games for children
- Mindsparke for Children
- Fit Brain Games
- My Brain Solutions
- Brain Training 101
- Brain Challenge™ (iPhone App)
- Brain Challenge 2: Think Again! (iPhone App)
Not all the games from these programs are focussed on developing the right brain, but they do give your brain some great exercise which is an important part of developing the brain. I’m sure there are many more activities available you can do to help develop the right brain without having to create your own materials. These are just some of the ones I found.
If you do find any interesting right brain development sites, please share them in the comments below.