We’ve been sending our 30 month old child, Daniel, for brain training classes at BrainFit Studios. There were many enrichment classes we have tried before but I am glad we chose to send him to Brainfit for one simple reason.
We see results. Daniel has achieved so many new milestones after attending this brain training course, and that’s why I’m writing about it here (and also because don’t know why suddenly brain training is so often discussed amongst my mummy friends now!)
BrainFit Baby™ Programme
Daniel has been attending weekly BrainFit Baby™ classes for kids aged 9 months to 3 years. Developed specially for infants and toddlers, the emphasis of the brain training programme is to enrich cognitive development utilising a holistic approach; thereby building the foundation for everything else he is going to learn and do in life.
In every class, the kids will be presented with a variety of hands-on activity one after another. Each activity has a specific purpose.
In every 50 minute session, children, together with their parents, participate in a range of multi-faceted, fun and engaging activities centered around 5 key areas for vital and positive brain development: Sensory-Motor, Visual, Auditory, Focus-Memory and Social-Emotional (EQ).
Here’s sharing some photos of our brain training time at BrainFit with Teacher Cherry and some of the many new milestones Daniel has achieved during this single course.
An obstacle course is usually setup for the start of the class. It’s a great way to get the kids warmed up and excited. Climbing up and down unstable surfaces, crawling through tunnels, following a specific path, etc. helps Daniel work on improving his sensory motor integration and coordination skills and improve his balance.
There’s also an activity which requires him to throw balls into a net. Superb for helping him to improve his hand-eye co-ordination, eye-tracking and focus as he has to keep looking at where he is aiming!
Daniel has always been a very active child and didn’t really have any problems with the obstacle course but he is weak with his attention span and focusing on tasks. In just a few lessons, Daniel got the hang of aiming balls into the net and could do it very well. He has also gotten the hang of the obstacle course and even as the obstacle course changes, he understands that there is a specific path meant for him to follow.
Joining coloured fishes together…
Here, he had to join 2 same coloured fishes together. This was challenging for him at the start of this programme. It required him to rotate his wrists, and coordinate both hands to link the fishes together. The activity changes every week but the goal remains the same – to improve his bilateral coordination and fine motor skills.
Joining monkeys together..
Here are some monkeys that he had to link together. It required strength in the fingers, hand-eye coordination, and bilateral coordination. Just as an added challenge, he was asked to copy a sequence of coloured monkeys joined by Teacher Cherry, thereby learning sequencing and improve eye tracking.
On his first lesson, all he wanted to do was to touch everything. But he has since come so far. He can now quietly problem-solve once he understands what we want him to do.
He needed a lot of practice on his bilateral coordination & fine motor skills and we have also been practicing this with him at home as well. This journey with BrainFit has really seen him grow in so many ways. This was one of his weakest areas and I think he has done very well so far and we are still seeing improvements every week.
His focus is also improving. He is now able to listen to the teacher’s instructions before rushing into any activity – that’s GOLD.
This is Daniel’s favourite section of the class – Sensory Play. This is where new textures, sights and sounds are introduced to the kids, developing creativity as well as fine motor skills while they engage with the new materials. Every time Teacher Cherry takes out the black tray, he knows that something exciting is coming up. In the image above, it doesn’t look like much, but then Teacher Cherry switched off the lights, and this happened:
The kids were absolutely ecstatic to see the transformation! Here, the kids were introduced to the concept of glow-in-the-dark. The kids simply loved the sight of glowing cylinders of luminescent liquid. Teacher Cherry also took the opportunity to teach them words associated with this activity to allow the kids to learn through their hands-on experience.
Through this interesting segment, he has played with kinetic sand, magnets, squishy suction cups and many others!
I personally like this segment of the class the best. Teacher Cherry will introduce a cluster of words based on phonological sounds. Just last week, he learnt words starting with the “ST” sound, like sticker, stamp, and start. Teacher Cherry will explain each word with the cards that she uses to show the kids. This has helped Daniel be more sensitive and pick up the different sounds.
At every class, the kids are encouraged to repeat after Teacher Cherry and Daniel actively participates in it.
Did you know that the ability to read quickly is related to the ability to differentiate letters, and we can strengthen this even from early on? One good way of doing this is through improving children’s visual perceptual skills. At BrainFit, what they did was to ask children to match coloured pictures of animals with their shadows. In that manner, Daniel had to notice the subtle details and differences between the objects.
I never thought Daniel could do this at his age (visual-closure). While at his first lesson, he pretty much just moved the animals all around, he can now easily complete a task with a similar concept – notice the subtle details and match 2 similar items together. What a feat!
And of course, there’s always the fun music & rhythm part to the class. Teacher Cherry introduces a variety of musical instruments over the weeks and asks the kids in the class to follow a series of rhythm and sequence set together. It has helped Daniel discover rhythm in a song and follow a sequence of body positions and movement!
All in all, this program has IMMENSELY improved Daniel’s focus, concentration and patience. I never thought a child as physically active and tireless as Daniel would be able to sit down quietly and patiently do things like threading items through a string, or following specific instructions. I really feel like these classes has helped Daniel achieve his fullest potential and his age-appropriate milestones.
Benefits of A Parent-Accompanied Class
Specifically for Brainfit Baby, this is a parent-accompanied class. It’s great because after a few lessons in this class, my husband and I learnt how to optimise our home environment, and how to better interact and play with Daniel to support this critical development life stage of his.
We started to understand what he needs to know (not his ABCs and 123s) not only through the lessons but also through the Brainfit app which gives us timely prompts and fun home activities that will help him achieve his age-appropriate milestones. We started to help him:
- identify colours (he has improved tremendously on the colour front),
- encourage the use of 2 word sentences (he has finally started on making meaningful conversations!), and
- teaching him the concept of numbers, i.e. what does 1 and 2 mean (we are still trying!), and
- give him more appropriate toys to play with to fine-tune his fine motor skills, etc.
I would highly recommend that you join a seminar by their founder Cheryl Chia to understand their approach to whole brain training and it’s benefits for your child (check their FB for upcoming events). You’ll also understand from her why left brain training may not be the best for your child.
About BrainFit Studio
BrainFit Studio is the leading provider of the most up-to-date neuro-scientific-based brain fitness training programs in Asia. It started in Singapore in 2011 and was founded by a team of therapists led by Ms. Cheryl Chia. They have since expanded across Southeast Asia and has presence in several countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, and the Philippines. It is spearheaded by a group of individuals who are experts in the fields of education and health care. Check out the results they’ve achieved with their students.