How to Improve Brain Health for Kids


Brain health is a big topic in the world of health care. Most of us moms know how easy it is to lose precious brainpower after having kids. The older we get, the more our brains need a boost.  

But what about our kids? Should we assume their brains are strong and healthy just because they are young? No. It is just as important for them to take care of and nurture their brains during this critical time of growth and development. {This is not medical advice, so be sure to consult your medical care professional.}

Why Do Brain Exercises?

To help boost your child’s brain growth during a critical developmental stage. Their cognitive and learning skills are still forming, so this is when you really want to support brain health.  

Brain exercises can help your kids:

  • Focus better in school
  • Improve their memory
  • Retain new information
  • Learn how to process new information
  • Be more organized
  • Better understand and follow directions

Imagine what all this can do for your home life too!

3 Simple Brain Exercises For Kids

Brain-Body Connection

Help your kids understand their brains and bodies are connected and their thoughts control their movements and actions. Repeated use of this exercise may even help kids who tend to be very impulsive. This is so simple! Just ask your child to think of a body part, say a toe. Then ask them to move that body part. Ask them to picture their toe in their minds first, then wiggle their toe. To be effective, do this with several different body parts. Don’t underestimate the simplicity of this exercise.  

This is also a very helpful exercise when your child is hurt. Have them close their eyes, take some deep breaths, and picture their hurt body part or boo-boo in their mind. Then have them send some type of “healing thoughts” to that area. Use language your child will relate to. If it’s a small child, maybe call it magical kisses or magical feel better thoughts.  

Mindfulness for Kids

Mindfulness is also a big buzz word in the health industry right now. It might seem too complicated to teach mindfulness to your kids, but it’s not. Actually, their young, adaptive brains are more capable of learning mindfulness than our older more stubborn brains.  

Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment. Not stressing about the past or worrying about the future. 

Here’s an example where mindfulness can save the day. My teen-aged daughter just finished a book she had to write a report on. The report is on how kids her age could relate to the book. She couldn’t relate to the book. So, surely she was going to do horribly on the book report, fail the class and ultimately not graduate. True story. 😉

When you teach your children mindfulness, you want to help them focus on the thoughts and feelings they are having in that moment. Help them understand and process those thoughts and feelings in that moment.  

Mindfulness helps your kids learn to focus and concentrate better. It also helps with stress management and has tons of emotional benefits as well.  

Memory Exercises

Thanks to technology, our kids don’t have to practice their memory skills as much as we had to. I had to remember how to spell words in school, now with Siri, Alexa, and spell checkers, our kids don’t really have to remember anything.  

I don’t believe in stuffing their brains with useless information, but we should help them strengthen their memory muscle.  

Bring back memory games. Remember the Suitcase Game or the Grocery List Game? Or Concentration? Other helpful games include jigsaw puzzles, Simon Says, Chess, Checkers, and Sudoku.  


When it comes to building a better brain, nutrition cannot be ignored! Brain exercises can only do so much if your brain is starving for nutrition.  

The best foods to fuel busy little brains include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Avoid processed foods as much as you can. They’re filled with toxic ingredients that are potentially brain-damaging. Have you ever noticed how a walnut looks a lot like a brain? There’s a reason for that. 🙂

Brains use glucose for fuel. Now that doesn’t mean run out and grab some donuts before school. They need glucose from fresh, whole foods.  

Foods that are grown today are growing in depleted soil. That means even fresh, organic produce provides less nutrition than it did when our grandparents were growing up. So even if you and your kids eat a healthy diet, you may still need to consider a quality multi-vitamin supplement.  If you eat a lot of processed foods, you should really consider a vitamin supplement.  

Essential Oils

Essential oils are scientifically proven to interact at the cellular level. That means they get right to the source and they do it quickly. Some essential oils can even cross the blood-brain barrier and quickly get to work on brain cells.  

Here are some of the best essential oils for brain health:

  • clove
  • ginger
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • sandalwood
  • frankincense
  • cedarwood
  • petitgrain

Essential oils can be diffused throughout the house, giving everyone in the house the benefits of essential oils. They can also be used topically by rubbing diluted oils on the skin. When using essential oils with kids, you always want to dilute them with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil. You can then rub the essential oils on the bottoms of the feet, on the back of the neck, on the tummy, or along the spine for maximum effect.  

Diffusing essential oils during homework time is a simple, effective way to keep them engaged in their homework.  

For more information, read how to use essential oils to help your kids thrive at school.  

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Shellie is an Occupational Therapist and Lactation Counselor turned Health Coach. She grew up in Youngstown and moved to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University. Columbus has been her home for the past 25+ years. She has 3 jobs, 1 husband, 3 kids, and 1 fur baby. When she’s not momming or working, she is researching all things related to nutrition and natural health. For that matter, she has an unhealthy relationship with her iPad and is not setting the best example for her kids. Her passion is to help busy moms transform their lifestyles so they can raise strong, healthy and happy families. She blogs about nutrition and natural health at Shelli Bolyard.