Brain Power: Do Your Kids Have It? Here’s How to Get It

increase brain power

It was borne out of my frustration last summer when seeing my son sleepily stumble downstairs in the morning, walk straight into the family room and either turn on the TV or start playing video games immediately. I missed talking with him over breakfast, and my gut feeling told me that this pattern was no way to start the day. I also knew that it was no way to boost brain power when the school year began. So I instituted a morning Hour of Power. Here’s how you can use that hour to increase brain power in your kids.

Screen free.

The first hour of my son’s day is spent without screen time. (That means no phones in your child’s room at bedtime, so he can’t grab it when he wakes up.) He eats breakfast at the table, talks with me for a bit and then reads the newspaper. (I know that most people don’t get a newspaper, but provide something your child can read during that first hour.)

You can also play board games with your kids to boost their brain power. Try Uno for pattern recognition and focus, dominoes for critical thinking, and Scrabble for spelling, vocabulary, and even math.

5 Screen Time Rules Moms Must Have

Morning routine.

In our house, the phrase “morning routine” is shorthand for what my son needs to do during his Hour of Power: eating breakfast, taking a shower, brushing teeth, and making the bed. It’s also a quick way for  me to check in without going down the whole list of to-do items. He knows that to move beyond the first hour to the rest of the day, he has to finish his morning routine.

Leftover time.

What else does he do during that hour? Sometimes he complains that he’s bored. Other times he goes outside and hits baseballs off a tee, fiddles around with Legos, or just lounges. That’s how things go on the weekends. During the school week, the time is taken up with getting ready for school.

According to Mayo Clinic studies, growing brains need stimulation beyond screens. So, having a screen-free morning gets the day started off on the right foot. {Tweet This} It also gives children a routine that will help set them up for a successful day.

How do your children start their day?