Inspiring Children to be the Best That They Can Be

For: Primary Educators, Parents, and Kids Inspiring Children To Love Learning And Be The Best They Can Be

Friday, April 19, 2013

Memory Power - and Guinea Pigs

Time to Explore

          The Reticular Activating System (RAS) in our brain stem is a control center continually sorting out what is important and what is trivial to us.  What stored memories do we use to carry out tasks?   
          Information stored in the (RAS) can be good or bad - and like everything else we are good at, we become better by practicing.  Playing the following games will encourage us to practice good strategies that help us remember. 
           You can change what memories/information are stored in your 
(RAS) by practicing positive self talk, positive images, and picturing success.  

The Odyssey Learning Games Connection 

Rory's Story Cubes for Ages 6 and up contains 9 cubes with imaginative images perfect for building a "once upon a time" story.  This practices the use of cues for remembering a sequence - or creating a story to help remember facts or ideas needed for recall.  There are also Rory's Story Cubes - Action and Rory's Story Cubes - Voyages.  They all can be used as an individual activity - to create a story (orally or written)  or as a group activity with each person adding on to the story with a new cube..   ($7.99 ea)
Froggie Boogie for Ages 4 and up, encourages little ones to remember which eye of the frog has a 'frog' underneath it.  This determines whether they can move to another pod.  It is also a matching game using color cubes and a board game created by the players.  (2 - 6 players/ $29.99) 
Pengoloo for Ages 4 and up, is a wonderful memory stretcher for young - and older players.  Roll the dice and look for matching color eggs under the penguins  - remember where they are (even if another player has one you need) as you collect all 6 penguins to win. (2 - 4 players/$24.99) 

Book Reviews for Kids

Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas 
                         By Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm    (Published 2012)
         This team has put together an attractive presentation of complicated ocean plant life - and its relationship to our life on earth from the "sun's" point of view in simple science terms.  I recommend this book for homes and schools alike for an understandable reference on how sun is important to all living things - on earth and ocean. 
(Ages 8 - adult)

Scurry and Squeak - Bring Home a Guinea Pig
           By Amanda Doering Tourville  (2009)
       I had questions (since my 2 granddaughters acquired guinea pigs over Easter) about care, upkeep, and personalities.  All of my questions were addressed and answered in simple straight-forward text with attractive 'cute' pictures.  This book is part of a series, 'Get a Pet,' from  (Our library had copies)  I recommend the series as a 'starting point' for getting off on the right foot with your new pet.

Oh, Theodore!  Guinea Pig Poems      by Susan Katz (2007)

         A 'cute' poetic journey of a boy choosing a guinea pig, learning to care for it, 'losing it,'  and in the end, becoming good friends with it.

In My Backyard

     This isn't about my backyard this time.  It's about my daughter, Carrie and her family.  As mentioned above, they are the proud owners of two new guinea pigs, Hershey and Reese.  (Can you tell that my two granddaughters   like chocolate?)  I wonder if they knew before getting them  . . .that guinea pigs like fruits and vegetables?  that their front teeth never stop growing?  that the cage needs cleaning often?  but most of all, that they are happy pets that purr when petted - and waddle 'everything' when they walk (since they have no tails.)  - Oh, and the last report was that one doesn't stop talking.

I want to close with a poem that I found by Neil Harding McAlister
Soft and lazy             Balls of fur.
Guinea Pigs               Will hardly stir.

Exercise?                   They cannot bear it,
Unless to fetch           A nice, fresh carrot.
Twitching noses,       Shining eyes,
Looks of                    Permanent surprise

Greet the day            With peals of glee
When each morning They see me.

Do they really            Miss their masters?
Maybe it’s just           Food they’re after.

Piggies’ brains           Are very small.
Maybe they                Can’t think at all,

And life’s just            One scary muddle
‘Til they get               Their evening cuddle.

Questions only          Cause us grief.
I’ll suspend                My disbelief,

And pretend              Dependency
Is a sign                     These pets love me.

Be Creative,  Inspire Others,  Enjoy Life!

By Joan Bock