Monday, 26 March 2018

5 Creative ways to stimulate your brain during the holidays.

School holidays are there for rest, but that doesn’t mean your brain should be idle.

Have you ever returned from a school holiday and then it seems like you have suddenly forgot how to write – as if your hand and mind have been resting too long? This usually happens when we don’t do anything throughout the holiday that is creative and intellectually stimulating.

Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” That’s why we want to encourage you to do something creative this holiday. Not just to avoid boredom, but to advance your intelligence even more.

Here are 5 creative ways you can stimulate your brain this holiday:

1. Puzzles.

Puzzles come in many shapes and forms. You can start with a traditional puzzle where you need to place different puzzle pieces in order to form a picture. Have you ever tried a 1000 piece puzzle? Those can get pretty tricky!

Solving a Rubik’s cube is a great brain teaser. If you want some help you can easily YouTube tutorials for formulas on how to solve a Rubik’s cube.

Sudoku is one of the oldest and greatest puzzles to stimulate your brain. It’s been proven that Sudoku teaches problem solving skills and how to think in terms of the broader picture.

2. Story books can become your best friend.

Reading a story book during the holidays will not only improve your reading skills but also stimulate your imagination. The big diffidence between watching television and reading a story, is that the movie or television show gives you every detail of the story – no imagination is involved. However, when reading a book, you have to imagine the facial expression of the character, what their voice sounds like, what kind of shoes they are wearing and even just what their house looks like. If you don’t like reading, commit yourself to start reading short stories or even poetry. It is just as fun and you will quickly run through plenty of books.

How about writing a story? Nobody really enjoys prescribed essays in Afrikaans or English, but writing your own story will open up a new world for you. You can simply sit down and start writing about your day, your dreams or a time in history you would want to travel to. You can even give poetry a try.

3. Play a game.

There are so many board games to choose from today and each of them can teach you a valuable skill. Here are a couple of board games we recommend:
Mastermind, Scrabble, Monopoly, Chess, Checkers and Jenga.

PlayStation, X-box and Computer games are just as beneficial to stimulate creativity! Hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are developed when playing these games. It reduces stress, improves focus and teaches them problem-solving and perseverance skills. It can also improve a child’s planning and organization abilities. The most obvious positive effect that playing computer games has on children is the ability to multitask and to be adaptable in their way of thinking. We don’t advise that you spend the entire holiday playing computer games – as there are always negative consequence from too much of a good thing. 

4. Make something with your hands.

When you do arts and crafts you stimulate most of your senses and practise concentration. Try drawing, painting or making something out of clay. If you don’t feel very confident in the art class, there are many colouring books that aren’t just for pre-schoolers. You can start making something out of wood, build a treehouse or even start with robotic Legos for teenagers. Origami also requires creativity. You can create beautiful objects as gifts for friends and family. The possibilities are endless.

5. Learn how to play a musical instrument.

Playing a musical instrument has been very closely linked to intelligence. By learning to play the piano, drums or any other choice of musical instrument, you encourage your brain to perform better overall. It will become evident in most school subjects, especially analytical subjects like math and science. Learning to keep rhythm and how to play each note precisely teaches discipline and heightens your cognitive brain activity. It can also be very fun to play along with your musical friends.

For more information on the correlation between playing a musical instrument and math skills, read the following article by ‘Does Music Give You Math Skills? It's a Tricky Equation’.

We believe these are great ways to help keep your mind active and fresh during this short school holiday. Let us know if you play any of these games, write stories (or even poetry). Send us a photo of your completed puzzle or artwork! We would love to see how creative you are.

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