If you have an itch, you scratch it. If you want to make dinner, you look up a recipe and start cooking. Our brains enable us to perform basic acts you may not consider such as breathing and sleeping. It also allows us to do all those higher order activities such as critical reasoning and problem solving.
Messages travel from our brains to other parts of our bodies via neurons. There are three types of neurons: sensory neurons fire off messages to our sense organs so we can do things like taste and hear, motor neurons send messages to our muscles so we can do things like speak and walk, and interneurons connect sensory neurons and motor neurons.
By the time we are adults, we have over 100 billion neurons in our brains, which weighs about 2 ¼ – 3 ¼ pounds. While our brain accounts for roughly 2% of our body weight, it uses up about 20% of the oxygen in our blood and 25% of the glucose in our bloodstream. This makes for a great argument in support of exercise and good nutrition!
Neurons communicate with each other and with other cells via synapses. Imagine a group of trees with connected branches and you can get a sense of how communication works. Each tree would represent a neuron, and all the branches represent the possible sites for communication. If we don’t regularly use certain synapses, they are pruned much like we clip away unneeded branches on a tree.
Synaptic pruning is not necessarily a bad thing, but at the same time, it does emphasize the importance of regular stimulation in a variety of different contexts to maintain our minds. If we don’t use it, we lose it and as such we need to keep our brains active and engaged.
At World of Enrichment, we support brain development by providing a variety of unique and enriching activities to stimulate various areas in your child’s brain. All of our classes support active learning while tapping into the importance of critical thinking, creativity, and social learning. With many different classes to choose from, your child can develop their mind in an area that is of personal interest. We strive to make learning fun!
For more information on the brain that you can share with your child, click here.