“I could wile away the hours,
Conferrin' with the flowers,
Consultin’ with the rain,
And my head I’d be scratchin’
While my thoughts were busy hatchin',
If I only had a brain”
Sung by The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz
Want to make your child’s study of the nervous system a little more fun? By creating this brain cap, your child will have a memorable way to learn external human brain anatomy. You can make this model as simple or as complex as you want. Let your child’s interest and enthusiasm be your guide.
What You Need:
- Plain swim cap
- Assorted colors of permanent markers
- Rubbing alcohol, for removing mistakes
What You Do:
- First, have your child mark and label the three major parts of the human brain: The cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brain stem. Have him write the names of the different parts in black permanent marker and enclose the different regions with black marker to make them stand out.
- Explain to your child that the cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and is responsible for conscious activities, sensory interpretation and judgment. You might want to fill in the subdivisions later.
- Tell your child that the cerebellum is the second largest region of the brain, and that it's mainly associated with coordinating voluntary movements and language.
- Next, share with him that the brain stem controls some of body’s most important functions, like heart rate and breathing. It connects the brain to the spinal cord.
- Ask your child to color in the different regions of the brain. Because permanent marker tends to run, it'll work best to write the region’s name in black and leave a circle of uncolored area around it.
- As a final touch, your child might want to use a black pen to put in some of the sulci (singular would be sulcus), which are the folds in the brain that allow a lot of thinking to go on in a small amount of space.
If your child wants to learn more, ask him to color and labels the interior parts of the brain on the other side of the swim cap.
For example, you could have him add some regions of the cerebrum:
Frontal lobe- involved in planning of movements, memory and self-control
Parietal lobe- body sensations
Temporal lobe- hearing
Occipital lobe- vision