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Common “Whys” From Parents With Young Children!

BySCMP Events

Contributed by Cassie Chu, Training Director, Spring Learning

3 Common “Whys” From Parents With Young Children!

  1. Why Does My Child Have A Hard Time Concentrating?
  2. Why Is My Child So Clumsy? 
  3. Why Does My Child Fidget All The Time?

Cerebellum: What Is It? What Does It Do? Why Is It Important? 

Location: Sits at the base of the brain
Also known as: The “Little Brain”
Sensitive period of development: 0 – 1 year 
Responsible for: Coordination of movement, controlling posture, and finding balance in and out of motion

Did you know that the cerebellum is the part of the brain that helps us with our balance and coordination? While we may think that we need our balance and coordination only for sporting activities, we forget their importance in helping us concentrate and navigate through our daily routines and tasks. When our brain fails to find balance and coordination, we will find it hard to focus and make sound judgement, which triggers our brain and body to try to find ways to regain balance. That is when we fidget, move around, and even get a little clumsy to find the balance that is needed to refocus.

The cerebellum is located at the base of the brain and serves as the foundation for which the other areas of the brain are built upon. Without this strong foundation in our brains, areas of the brain responsible for higher-order thinking and executive skills, such as planning, problem-solving, and creativity, will be compromised. By giving the cerebellum the appropriate amount of stimulation during its sensitive period of development, we are building the simple brain connections needed for the more complex connections to be constructed as the brain develops. This fundamental part of the brain, surprisingly, only has a short optimal window of opportunity to reach its potential. The most optimal time for developing this area is from birth to one year. Unfortunately, most parents miss out on this opportunity and neglect to provide beneficial activities to help build and stimulate this area for their children’s future growth. 


“It is easier and less costly to form strong brain circuits during the early years than it is to intervene or ‘fix’ them later…More importantly, the connections that form early provide either a strong or weak foundation for the connections that form later.”
Source: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University 

How To Help Children Develop Their Cerebellum: Activities & Equipment

During the first year of our children’s lives, lots of meaningful movement exercises can help them understand what it means to be in and out of balance, and how to move or be stationary within their space. Given a variety of movement experiences when out of balance, our children learn how to shift weight, coordinate their body parts and reposition themselves within the given space to restore stability to their systems. The more of these experiences they have before they turn one year old, the more information their brains can collect and record — thus, building stronger foundational brain connections for more complex connections to come. 

Here are some suggested equipment and movements to help children maximize the first crucial growth year of their lives. 

1. Slides: 
Let children experience different kinds of slides. Give them a variety of textures, heights and curvatures to feel their bodies travelling at different speeds.


2. Swings:
Propel forward and back, sway side to side and rotate both directions to allow children to experience different movements, learning how to strengthen their core muscles and lean their upper and lower bodies to maintain balance.  

3. Trampoline/Lycra Bed:
Bouncing up and down and tossing around can help children understand vertical movements while stabilizing their joints and toning their muscles.


4. Scooter Board:
Spin and let children travel in various directions. While learning how to balance, children can also build muscles in their neck, core and back. 

5. Wedges & Mats:
Let children tumble and roll. Whether it is forward, backward or on their sides, allow children to experience their worlds upside down and right side up while increasing body and spatial awareness. 

If you don’t have any of these equipment at home but would like to make sure you are providing the stimulation input for your young child, try dancing with them! Turn on some music, carry your child, and wiggle, sway, spin, and bounce with them! Not only is this great for brain development, but you are also bonding with your children while you are holding them close to you.