June 23, 2024


Science It Works

Building Brains games keeping education going for children during the summer

Games in the bag include ‘Musical Freeze’, which has children dance to music and when the music stops, they freeze in the same pose shown on an included card. ‘Red Light, Green Light’ help improve children’s working memory and helps them build emotional control. Another activity in the bag is a shared project, where two children work together. The U of L says that “the process allows children to play, negotiate and work together to make whatever they want using modelling clay.”

Hazelwood noted that, “we know in the first five years of life, a child’s experiences have a powerful influence on development, physically, socially and emotionally.”

“So, if they have positive playful experiences with a caregiver in their life, then it really promotes strong and nurturing relationships and it sets them up for positive outcomes in the future.”

The Building Brain curriculum and games were created from the results of the Early Development Instrument, which was used across Canada about seven years ago to test kindergarten readiness. Results found that children in Alberta were behind the Canadian average and those in Lethbridge were behind the Alberta average.

U of L neuroscience professor, Dr. Robbin Gibb, founded the Building Brains organization. Under her leadership, local organizations came together to look at how to strengthen adult capabilities to support childhood development.

Hazelwood added that, “we want to see healthy, resilient children in our community.”

“With these game bags, our hope is to re-invest in continuing the program and supporting healthy child development in our community.”

With funding from the City of Lethbridge, Building Brains teams with organizations like the Lethbridge Housing Authority, food banks, the school division and Family Centre to connect with as many caregivers and children as possible.

The bags can be ordered online through the U of L book store for $29.99 here.