Books on the Brain, the Body and the Importance of Play

A Selection of Recommended Reading from Nurturing Pathways®


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Brain Rules

John Medina

Molecular biologist, John Medina shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a Brain Rule-what scientists know for sure about how our brains work-and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives. You will discover how:
  • Exercise improves cognition
  • Every brain is wired differently
  • We are designed never to stop learning and exploring
  • Memories are volatile and susceptible to corruption
  • Sleep is powerfully linked with the ability to learn
  • Vision trumps all of the other senses
  • Stress changes the way we learn
Paperback, 280 pages


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A User's Guide to The Brain

John J. Ratey, M.D.

Ratey clearly and succinctly surveys what scientists now know about the brain and how we use it. He looks at the brain as a malleable organ capable of improvement and change, like any muscle, and examines the way specific motor functions might be applied to overcome neural disorders ranging from everyday shyness to autism. Drawing on examples from his practice and from everyday life, Ratey illustrates that the most important lesson we can learn about our brains is how to use them to their maximum potential.

Paperback, 384 pages


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Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

John J. Ratey, M.D.

The latest research shows that for your brain to function at its peak, your body needs to move. In Spark, John J. Ratey demonstrates exactly how and why physical activity is crucial to the way you think and feel. He explains how aerobic exercise prepares your brain to learn, improves mood and attention, lowers stress and anxiety, helps stave off addiction, controls the sometimes tumultuous effects of hormonal changes, and guards against and even reverses some of the effects of aging in the brain.

Hardback, 294 pages


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Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child's Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence.

Hopson, Janet and Diamond, Marian

A beautifully written book on enrichment practices from conception to adolescence. Marion Diamond writes from her years of experience as a scientist, thoroughly discussing the work of others across the nation who have researched enrichment from every angle. She presents a very balanced recipe for enrichment at every stage of development. A fabulous resource list of related books, products, organizations, websites and learning centers are included.

Paperback, 465 pages


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Smart Moves

Carla Hannaford, Ph.D

The body's role in thinking and learning is presented for the first time in a popular readable format, thoroughly supported by scientific research. Neurophysiologist and educator Carla Hannaford tells us why we must move-and shows us how to move to fully activate our learning potential. Her remarkable insights will be of great and immediate value to learners of all ages, from the gifted to the so-called learning-disabled.

Paperback, 237 pages


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The Well Balanced Child: Movement and Early Learning

Sally Goddard Blythe

The Well Balanced Child is a passionate manifesto for a 'whole body' approach to learning which integrates the brain, senses, movement and play. This fully revised edition includes a new chapter on what parents can do to help children reach their full potential, physically and mentally. This practical, inspirational resource will help parents and educators to understand:

  • Why Movement Matters
  • How Music helps brain development
  • The role of nutrition, the brain and child growth
  • How to help children with learning and behavioural problems
Paperback, 280 pages


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Kids Learn From the Inside Out

Shirley L. Randolph, MA, PT and Margot Heiniger, MA, OTR

This book provides the essential information for raising children according to the genetically encoded timeline for the human species. The time has come for our children to become our top priority. AS our most important natural resource, they deserve to be planned for and provided for. It would be a tragedy if children were to appear on the "endangered species" list! This book speaks about assisting healing and repatterning, not about providing physical therapy treatments; about physical challenges, not physical handicaps. It is time to actively change negative self-limiting thoughts and language to the positive, easy, fun language and lifestyle humans are designed to experience.

Paperback, 282 pages


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Sensational Kids

Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D, OTR

In this authoritative work, the best-known SPD researcher in the world brings together a lifetime of study and vivid stories to teach parents and others the signs and symptoms of SPD and its four major subtypes; ways the disorder is diagnosed and treated; strategies for coping with it; and advocacy methods to bring families help and hope.

Paperback, 351 pages


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Move to Greatness

Ginny Whitelaw

Move to Greatness reveals that to lead and live wholly, basic energy patterns must be brought into balance. Out of kilter, these four patterns create the ineffective "buts" in leadership style ("great at making numbers, but hell on staff") and personal performance ("successful at work, but has no life"). Success and failure originate in our use ( or misuse) of four fundamental pattens in the nervous system that have been studied over decades.​

Paperback, 245 pages


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The Whole-Brain Child

Siegel, Daniel J. M.D. 

The author demystifies the meltdowns and aggravation, explaining the new science of how a child's brain is wired and how it matures.

movingchildisalearningchild.jpgBuy Now

A Moving Child is a Learning Child

Gill Connell, Cheryl McCarthy

Just as kids’ bodies need specific nutrients for good health, they also need a balanced diet of physical activity to help them reach their potential.

Writing in an engaging, down-to-earth style, authors Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy connect the dots that link brain activity, motor and sensory development, movement, and early learning. They unveil the Kinetic Scale: a visual map of the active learning needs of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary graders (from “snugglers” to “skedaddlers”) that fits each child’s individual timetable.

Paperback, 336 Pages

The Dendrite Dance

Breathe, Touch, Spin....

The Dendrite Dance highlights all the essential moves for a healthy childhood development. Dance With Me To Develop My Mind, Emotions and Motor Control. Purchase the Dendrite Dance Poster >