Boost Brainier Holiday Fun!

Looking for mental zip to cover those not-quite-yet-holiday-lesson ideas, you’ve been searching out?  If your students seem a bit overwhelmed by rising costs or sinking funds, they’ll love these free gift-giving tips.  All they need? A heap of talent, and a bit of goodwill to give it away.

Everybody loves a holiday action and surprises!

Since brains fire their best insights with action, it makes sense to  jump-start your gift- giving-gala with active fun neuro tasks?  Why not start your classroom holiday celebration with fun that rolls students’ gifts out of the gates? Capture1 - Final

First, try this multiple intelligence survey to launch your own mental magic and get ready to design priceless gifts  that turn talents into game-changer holiday takeaways. How so?

Give a gift of …

1. support for somebody’s new idea.  Simply expect holiday insights to shape into a supportive gift that can help increase confidence for what makes them tick?  For instance, what if you survey people on your list, to show how their talents, or intelligences can become golden holiday gifts?

2. laughter that benefits all. Humor literally changes the chemistry of brains by ramping up serotonin drugs. Have you ever seen holiday hilarity whenever somebody exchanges sarcasm for a laugh or two that benefits all. What if you tell a comical holiday story that laughs at yourself to get the giggles going with a friend or family member?

3.  music to shut-ins. Singing together offers a unique gift opportunity for elders or shut-ins and all it takes is an invitation to a few people you know to organize a holiday sing-a-long.  Did you know that singing groups can also build trust among people so that differences emerge more as gifts that people value. Pelle Ahlerup, U of Gothenburg showed how singing together adds  oxytocin, the trust brain chemical. Imagine the gift of a few  friends who gather together to sing holiday tunes in a senior’s home or hospital.

4. calm where you meet holiday anxiety. For some people frustrations are fueled by disappointments or anxiety from, “I’ll give if you give back syndrome” so that holiday magic dies. Why not show a discouraged or anxious friend how to  dial the brain’s amygdala toward a calm setting, and watch bad moods lighten into fun and frivolity. Why not  invite a discouraged friend or anxious peer to help you plan a cheery surprise for somebody with less this holiday?

5. new filters for a finer look.  Glance at the holiday celebration through an enthusiastic person’s eyes, and you’ll open new neuron pathways into cheer that passes fun along. Or listen to a friend’s holiday expectations – and then suggest one cool possibility that would enhance that person’s dream. People experience gifts in different ways – and to hear a person’s unique ideas is to give back the gift of listening through that person’s filter in ways that benefit through a finer look.

6. whistling while you work. Prepare holiday fun against a background of  music that rings in merriment. Did you know, for instance, that music changes brain wave speeds and can lighten people’s moods. Sound like a fun gift to give anybody you know? What if you were to plan a musical extravaganza as this YouTube of a mall flash mob?

7. connections into a magical possibility.  Let’s say you hear a friend is feeling a bit overwhelmed or discouraged. Using research that shows how the brain’s frontal region switches between “difficult times” and “magic moments, you can help that person hook to wonder in order to replace worry.  Invite the person to share a happy holiday memory, for instance, and that person’s difficult situation  will begin to fade as the memory hooks onto a better mood.

8. unpacked multiple intelligences to  capture seasonal spirit that many miss. Watch this homeless man sing of hope and holiday “diamonds in the sky,” for instance! What if you value or encourage a holiday gift (of a person’s unique intelligence) from an unlikely place this season?

9. animated IQ.  Did you know that brains literally rewire daily based on our lively actions. The Grinch may use poor tone as a silent holiday killer, but practice good tone and you can shout out gifts of holiday cheer in new more animated lingo? Any ideas that would help you use the kind of tone that will animate more IQ from others season?

10. gratitude to somebody who least expects your thanks.  Encourage gratitude and live thanks in ways that shape joyous celebrations for friends or family? What if you thanked at least one person daily before the holiday, by naming one specific thing that person did well for you or others? If you’ve received a sincere thank you from a child for who you are, how you think, or what you like to do – you know the power of thankfulness, unwrapped as a gift!

Oh, and one final holiday brain-booster 

Speak a person’s name to spike personal wellbeing to complete your gift-wrap.

PET scans show a strong cerebral flow for wellbeing when folks hear their names spoken with care!  I PlasticityPNGtransparent magine the holiday prosperity given if we each spoke names more thoughtfully.

Have you noticed that each suggested gift here, reboots your brain for a more festive gift-giving season?

Find further gifts within your beliefs! If belief or faith defines your holiday you’ve likely also discovered additional meanings for giving along with new delights for receiving. Belief can motivate you to design meaningful gifts for others. How so? My belief and faith at Christmas comes from Christianity where scripture reminds us that God so loved us that he gave his only son! No day passes without my gratitude for that gift! Yes, a huge cost was paid for a gift that changes my life daily when I remember the power and grace of unmerited favor handed to me because I am valued by a force bigger than life’s struggles. No gift I give can compare! No gift I receive can flood my day with gratitude for the unconditional love and grace this gift adds from my Creator. Over years it has unwrapped itself in ways that coax me through tougher days and propel me to new heights when storm clouds lift. You?

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14 thoughts on “Boost Brainier Holiday Fun!

  1. Lauralee

    What a list! I like the idea of music, but I always worry that it will distract a few students. Overall, beneficial, though? I’ll have to try it.

  2. eweber Post author

    Oh Gosh Lauralee – you are spot on!!! Student unused to music will face frustration if the music is not soft and classical. That’s why the lit is vital to see what music does to brainpower:-) Like other learning tools – no one-size fits all brains:-) Students in my room give constant feedback on music we use as they grow together and the tool works for all. I can write a book with certain classical music in the background – while dissonance will bump into (and make crazy) every word I try to generate. So you raised an awesome point here (which does not surprise me my expert friend!) Thanks! Ellen

  3. eweber Post author

    Thanks Lisa – you and I sure do share these loves! Would enjoy hearing a bit more about how you and your students use music as a learning tool:-) Ellen

  4. Julie Faulkner

    Your points are anchored in such depth, but written in a way that make them so attainable! Thanks for joining us on the hop!
    ~Julie

  5. eweber Post author

    Thanks Addie, I smiled when I read your comment – because some of the easier things to do over holiday breaks are the things we can forget to do:-) Loved your reminder here to see the ease – so we can give generously to those around us. You model that so well! Ellen

  6. eweber Post author

    Feeling the challenge on #7 too Robyn. In reality I have an over-packed week coming up – so I plan to look for magical possibilities to sprinkle into the hard stuff! Often the magic is linked to my two grandchildren – so I plan to Skype them and read them a book they inspired me to write. Now that should stir up enough serotonin for all the crazy schedule stuff later:-) You?

  7. eweber Post author

    Julie – your words mean the world to me because I constantly look for ways to communicate brain wonders in words folks enjoy to engage. So excited that it may have happened a bit here — and grateful to be a small part of such an awesome group! Thanks for hosting bright ideas! Ellen

  8. eweber Post author

    Loved your own suggested tasks Kristy – especially the Christmas themed writing prompts. Do students of different faiths replace the theme with one of holiday meaning to them? Great to share this hop with you and others in the field! Ellen

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