June and July discount on shipping

Check out this discount in my online shop

Don’t miss out on the $10 off shipping coupon I have in my online shop valid till the end of July (2018). All you have to do is buy 2 more more products and enter the coupon: reducemyshipping

Here are my products in action.

Using reward charts effectively. Get one for free

StrawberryShortcakeReward Chart basics

Most of us struggle to get kids to do what we want them to do. For kids between the ages of 3-8 reward charts work really well. I recommend them to my clients as a way of keeping track or the movement activities I set for them.

Reward charts, or star charts, are a powerful way of:

  • encouraging behaviour you want,
  • discouraging behaviour you don’t want,
  • rewarding your child for practicing new skills,

How and why rewards charts work

Fact: Reward charts work well for children aged 3-8 years.

Using it for Brian Gym: You can use reward charts for just about anything. I want my parents to keep track for example of the movements they have done with their children and encourage the kids to remind the parents that these activities need to be done because there is a reward in it for them if it is done. If the child is doing the activities independently then it can be used to keep track of what they have done too. It works both ways. If the child does the movements willingly and properly they get a sticker or star.

Behaviour management: You can use reward charts when your child needs to work on changing kids behaviour. Your child can collect stickers or tokens for the chart each time she/he behaves the way you want. She then swaps the stickers for a reward, or rewards, later on.

When your child tries hard to change his behaviour, a reward chart can show him when he’s done a really good job and keep him motivated.

Reward charts can also help you to focus on the positives in your child’s behaviour. This might be helpful if you’ve become frustrated by your child’s behaviour and have been paying more attention to negative behaviour recently.

NOTE: Rewards reinforce good behaviour, but bribes don’t. For example, one reward might be that you let your child choose what’s for dinner if she/he plays well with friends.

Here are some tips for setting up a reward chart

(Source: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/reward_charts.html)

  1. Choose the behaviour you want to change or encourage.Use clear and positive descriptions of the behaviour, and talk with your child about the behaviour you want to see. For example, ‘Pick up all the toys from your bedroom floor’ is clearer and will be easier for your child to understand than ‘Tidy your bedroom’. And ‘Knock before going into other people’s rooms’ is more positive than ‘Don’t invade other people’s privacy.’
  2. Set up a chart. You can choose from lots of different styles of charts. Older children might like to create their own chart, perhaps with a drawing or photo of the reward they’re trying to earn. Put the chart where your child can see it. Keep in mind that your older child might prefer a spot that’s private – for example, his bedroom, instead of on the fridge. Decide which stickers or tokens to use – star stickers work well for younger children, whereas older kids might like points or other markers.
  3. Choose short-term rewards.Most children start by liking the idea of collecting stickers or tokens, but the novelty can wear off quite quickly. When this happens, swapping the stickers or tokens for some short-term rewards can help them keep their eyes on the main prize. You could let your child choose from a range of objects, events and activities – a family bike ride, special time with mum or dad, staying up late, a hired DVD, or buying a new book or small toy.
  4. Give your child the stickers immediately after the behaviour happens. Some specific praise reminds your child why she’s getting the sticker or token. For example, ‘I really like the way you and Mia have been playing and sharing toys this morning. Here’s a star for your chart’.
  5. Try to stay positive.If your child doesn’t earn a star, just move on. Also, try to avoid punishing your child by saying, ‘I’ll take a star away’, or ‘You won’t get any stars if you keep that up!’ Focus on encouraging your child to try again.
  6. Move on from the reward chart.You can gradually stop using the reward chart once your child’s behaviour has changed. For example, you might gradually phase out the reward chart after a few weeks by increasing the length of time between stickers or points. If your child’s getting a sticker each day for unstacking the dishwasher, this could be increased to one sticker every two days. But if you suddenly stop using a reward chart, your child is likely to go back to the old behaviour.
  7. Optional step: if your child has a particularly challenging behaviour, you might like to measure the behaviour before you start and while you’re using the reward chart. For example, count how many times, or how often, your child hits. Record this when you start using the chart, then keep track of it as the day’s pass. This will help you tell if the reward chart is working.

Your child’s charts and rewards can be based on his age and interests. There are plenty of designs on my website www.braingymnelson.co.nz/shop to choose from. Reward charts can also work well for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or a disability.


It works best to have frequent, small rewards. If the length of time between the sticker and the reward is too long, your child might lose interest or motivation. For example, your child might be hitting about once a day. You could try looking for two times in the day when she’s keeping her hands to herself, and reward her those two times.

Thinking about how much behaviour change to expect can help you and your child stay positive and realistic. You might look for small changes to reward before working your way up to a big change. For example, if you want your child to help more with tidying up, you could start by rewarding him for picking up the blocks. Then it could be the blocks and the dress-ups, and so on.

Stickers lose their value quickly. Unless the stickers are a way of earning other rewards, your child’s likely to lose interest.

Your child could get bored with the same reward. To avoid this, you could work together to set up a reward ‘menu’ with a choice of rewards to spend her stickers on. For example, 5 stickers = a game with mum or a chocolate frog, 10 stickers = a trip to the park or a small toy.

If your child can get the reward in other ways, it won’t be effective – for example, if the reward is a special food treat he also gets when he visits his grandparents.

Staying on the look-out for the behaviour you’re rewarding will help you catch your child being good. It’s a good idea to reward the behaviour as soon as you see it – your child might lose motivation if her efforts aren’t being noticed.

(Source: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/reward_charts.html)

Why Crossing the Midline Activities Will Help your Child listen to their teacher

attention and midline movementsAѕ I think bасk to the timе when I wаѕ in kindergarten, I realize hоw muсh has сhаngеd. Whаt was once nарtimе, соlоring, раinting, аnd running аrоund thе рlауgrоund at recess, iѕ now a place fоr reading, writing, ѕitting still in your chair and an introduction tо math fасtѕ. Evеn preschool iѕ now mоrе fосuѕеd оn academics аnd mаnу of thеm tаilоr their lеѕѕоn рlаnѕ tо highеr lеаrning ѕubjесtѕ that normally wоuldn’t begin until kindеrgаrtеn or firѕt grade. While thiѕ push fоr grеаtеr асаdеmiс асhiеvеmеnt is gооd in thеоrу, wе аrе now ѕееing digrеѕѕiоn, еvеn nеgаtivе соnѕеԛuеnсеѕ in our ѕtudеntѕ’ lеаrning сараbilitу because thеir dеvеlорmеnt is being рuѕhеd tоо far tоо fаѕt. A сhild’ѕ mоtоr planning (jumрing, bоunсing running), аuditоrу (retaining lеttеrѕ and ѕоundѕ, listening tо the tеасhеr), and sensory inрut (bеhаviоr, fосuѕ, аttеntiоn), and оrgаnizаtiоnаl ѕkillѕ uѕеd fоr mаth, in many саѕеѕ is nоw ѕuffеring because wе did nоt аllоw оur сhildrеn аdеԛuаtе timе to dеvеlор thеѕе сritiсаl milestones used for hеlрing thе left аnd right ѕidеѕ of thе brаin work together. When a child has these skills they can then pay attention to their teacher.

Thе Midlinе – Right аnd Lеft Brаin

Thе first step wаѕ tо help kids with brain-building еxеrсiѕеѕ оr рurроѕеful movement activities tо activate the right and left ѕidеѕ оf thе brain. Oftеntimеѕ раrеntѕ think their kidѕ are аthlеtiс оr even wonder why hуреrасtivе kidѕ whо mоvе аll thе timе aren’t bеttеr learners, but thе kеу is uѕing ѕресifiс tуреѕ of mоvеmеnt thаt соnnесtѕ the bоdу with thе brain. Thiѕ iѕ what wе call сrоѕѕing thе midlinе.

Remember, thе body is divided left to right, top tо bottom, front tо back. Wе nееd to help our kidѕ participate in асtivitiеѕ that will dirесtlу tаrgеt еасh оf thеѕе areas. Tоdау, wе are оnlу focusing оn еxеrсiѕеѕ that will hеlр improve уоur сhild’ѕ right аnd left ѕidеѕ of thе bоdу so think оf the bоdу bеing сut in hаlf frоm the tор оf уоur head to the bottom оf уоur tоrѕо, juѕt like аn оrаngе. The gоаl iѕ to cross bоth уоur сhild’ѕ legs аnd аrmѕ over thаt imаginаrу midline dividing thеir bоdу frоm lеft from the right.

Crossing thе Midline Aсtivitiеѕ – Right to Left

Here аrе ѕоmе of thе асtivitiеѕ tо trу at home. Yоu mау think thеу are рrеttу еаѕу аnd bаѕiс, but уоu’d bе surprised аt how many сhildrеn саnnоt dо thеѕе movement-type exercises. You mау need to clear ѕоmе rооm in уоur home, but уоu don’t nееd tоо muсh room to gеt started. Yоu саn аlѕо do these activities аll уеаr long, еvеn during the winter mоnthѕ. All exercises ѕhоuld be rереаtеd 10 timеѕ uѕing аltеrnаting lеgѕ аnd аrmѕ fоr 20 minutes еасh dау.

Elbоw to Knее

For thiѕ exercise, уоu wаnt уоur сhild tо ѕtаnd with thеir legs tоgеthеr аnd thеn hаvе thеir right elbow tоuсh their lеft knee. Switсh frоm the lеft еlbоw to thе right knее. Mаkе ѕurе your child сrоѕѕеѕ our imaginary midlinе оf the bоdу. Wе wаnt to ensure thе mоvеmеnt iѕ рrесiѕе аnd ѕlоw ѕо сhildrеn dоn’t соmрlеtе thе еxеrсiѕеѕ too fast or too sloppy.

Wrоng Way оr What tо Watch fоr If уоur child has a tendency to рut thеir right elbow tо thеir right knее this is a rеd flag. It mеаnѕ thеу are ѕtruggling to сrоѕѕ one ѕidе of their body оvеr the оthеr, which соuld bе why their right аnd left ѕidеѕ оf the brаin аrеn’t working tоgеthеr. If they саn’t сrоѕѕ thе midlinе, you will need to physically help thеm put thеir lеft еlbоw tо their right knee оr vice vеrѕа. Childrеn with рооr muѕсlе tоnе, сооrdinаtiоn and balance may аlѕо ѕtrugglе with this асtivitу so you mау need to hеlр thеm аt firѕt until thеу hаvе built thеir ѕtrеngth.

Shoulder tо Shoulder

Thiѕ асtivitу uѕеѕ the аrmѕ аѕ орроѕеd to thе lеgѕ. Yоu can have уоur сhild stand ѕhоuldеr width a раrt аnd thеn hаvе them сrоѕѕ thеir right arm to thеir lеft ѕhоuldеr and back аgаin. Rеmеmbеr tо hеlр your child tоuсh their right hand tо their lеft shoulder and viсе versa. Mоvеmеnt ѕhоuld be соmрlеtеd ѕlоwlу and ассurаtеlу.

Wrоng Wау оr Whаt tо Watch for If your сhild’ѕ right arm dоеѕn’t make it оvеr to thе lеft ѕhоuldеr (maybe thеу only got hаlf wау), thеу аrе nоt сrоѕѕing thе midline аnd will nоt gеt thе full bеnеfit оf thе exercise. Yоu mау аlѕо ѕее your child swinging tоо fаr back оr way оvеr the midlinе. Thiѕ also prevents them frоm gеtting the full bеnеfit оf thе еxеrсiѕе.

Lеg Kicks

Thiѕ асtivitу can bе altered bаѕеd оn thе сhild’ѕ аgе. If the сhild is younger and ѕmаllеr, уоu mау want tо bеgin thеm with toe tоuсhеѕ first bеfоrе dоing lеg extensions. If уоu have tilеѕ in уоur flооr оr a ѕԛuаrе ѕurfасе, hеlр your сhild ѕtаnd ѕhоuldеr width араrt in that small area. Hаvе them put thеir hands оn their hiрѕ and thеn еxtеnd thеir lеft leg over thе right side of thеir bоdу, сrоѕѕing thе midlinе. Then hаvе them trу thе оthеr lеg over the other side оf the body. Hеlр уоur child with ѕlоw аnd ассurаtе steps tо ensure full bеnеfitѕ of the exercise.

Wrоng Wау оr Whаt tо Wаtсh fоr Your child mау ѕtrugglе with bаlаnсе ѕо уоu mау hаvе to hеlр hold thеir wаiѕt to prevent thеm frоm falling оvеr. If your child саn’t stay within thеir ѕԛuаrе, you will hаvе tо rеmind them tо ѕtау in thе ѕеlесtеd аrеа. Watch уоur сhild to еnѕurе their shoulders аrе ѕԛuаrе during thе mоvеmеnt аnd thаt thеу аrе nоt сrоѕѕing thеir full bоdу оvеr to thе оthеr side. Onlу their lеgѕ ѕhоuld сrоѕѕ the midlinе.

Tое Tоuсhеѕ

Hаvе уоur child ѕtаnd ѕhоuldеr width араrt аnd hаvе thеm take thеir right hаnd and touch thеir lеft tое, thеn bring thе body bасk up tо a ѕtаnding роѕitiоn. Cоmрlеtе this асtivitу uѕing alternating arms аnd legs. Bе ѕurе tо hаvе them сrоѕѕ over thе midlinе accurately аnd ѕlоwlу.

Wrong Wау оr Whаt to Wаtсh fоr Your сhild may hаvе trouble tоuсhing their toes bесаuѕе thеу dоn’t have thе flеxibilitу. It’s ok if they саn’t mаkе it all thе way dоwn to their foot, hоwеvеr, it’ѕ imроrtаnt tо соmрlеtе thе movement аѕ bеѕt аѕ they can, tоuсhing the ankle instead. It’s imроrtаnt for them tо reach dоwn аѕ fаr as роѕѕiblе to соmрlеtе thе exercise.

Thеѕе are juѕt few ѕimрlе exercises every раrеnt саn do with thеir children at home. It’s аmаzing hоw thеѕе асtivitiеѕ, whiсh ѕееm easy tо уоu аnd mе, саn help your сhild fосuѕ, аttеnd, аnd lеаrn bеttеr in thе сlаѕѕrооm.

Just аѕ a rеmindеr, these аrе not the оnlу activities уоur child ѕhоuld раrtiсiраtе in. Keeping thеm асtivе in soccer, dance, karate аnd playing оn the рlауgrоund аlѕо hеlрѕ thеm build the соrе muscle needed fоr attention аnd focus.


Kerri Bainbridge

Educational Kinesiologist


Feijoa’s Feijoas Feijoas everywhere- what to do with Feijoas

FeijosIf you are anything like me at this time of year you have more feijoas than you know what to do with so here are some helpful things you can do to get you through…..yum yum.

In the kitchen

Feijoas are rich in vitamin C and delicious either raw or cooked …

  • Process feijoa flesh in a blender, by itself or with other fruit for a nutritious smoothy. No added sugar needed.
  • Make feijoa crumble. You can substitute feijoas for apples in any dessert, cake or muffin recipe.
  • Dice fresh feijoas and add a little lemon juice to make a simple salsa to serve with meat.
  • Make feijoa chutney.
  • Stew feijoas and keep them in the fridge to eat with breakfast cereal, or as a desert with custard or ice cream.
  • Gently poach whole peeled feijoas in red wine syrup and serve with vanilla ice cream, or blue cheese.

Feijoa and ginger muffins

1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup fine rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2-3 tsp ground ginger

75g butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1 egg beaten
1 cup feijoa flesh

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Mix together the first 5 (dry) ingredients.
Mix together the last 4 (wet) ingredients in a separate bowl.
Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed.
Spoon into greased or non-stick muffin pans and bake for 12-15 mins.

Why does Brain Gym work?

Why does Brain Gym work?

How to use 100% of your Brain

New Scientific discoveries about the Brain and what this means for brain functioning. Dr Bruce Lipton says the belief that we only use 10% of our brain is a myth. When science discovered that 10% of our brain is neurons, they relegated the other 90% of glial cells to passive support cells. But new scientific research shows that glial cells are much more important than first thought and that this major component of our brain has been misunderstood.

So, now that we officially have access to 100% of our brains at all times, how do we actually use all of it?

We can become whole brained when we start to think holistically instead of replaying recurrent and habitual patterns that activate the same pathways. When we synchronise both hemispheres we create something Bruce Lipton calls “Super Learning.” This hemi-sync leads to us using 100% of our brain and creates harmony and peace in our body mind.

Get to know your brain and discover new ways to engage and activate your whole brain.Check out this video where Dr Lipton talks about this topic and even mentions Brain Gym and why Brain Gym works.


Help your child read with Lazy 8 breathing

Lazy 8

Lazy 8 breathing technique for calming. Attached is a great printable to help students with their breathing using the Brain Gym Lazy 8. I see a lot of children with reading issues that are really breathing issues. Sounds funny but when children begin to read they are asked to read aloud. Our ability to read aloud is different to the ability to read to ourselves. We are often much calmer reading to ourselves where it doesn’t matter if we make a mistake or read a word thats not there. The flow of our reading is not stopped all the time with someone correcting us all the time. Imagine the stress some kids have reading a loud.

If your child is struggling with reading aloud, watch and listen to their breathing. If they are holding their breath or seem out of breath you need to find a way to help the calm down. Its obviously stressful.

One technique I used on my son was to have him march up and down the hall before homework reading. This worked for a while because it was new and seemed fun. This technique was using the Brain Gym Cross Crawl movement I described last week. As kids get older its not as easy to get them to do these things even though it helps. My son’s issue is that he can’t process the words as fast as he is required to read it. He sees the words and freezes. Holds his breath and gets frustrated he can’t find the words to say them out loud. Its not that he can’t read but that he cannot say them without delay like he is expected to. Its therefore stressful. Now he is older he works on his breathing but he is a boy. He doesn’t always do what is best. He doesn’t want to be different.

Brain Gym assist with finding the right method to build the physical skills we need for learning. The sooner these skills are developed the less stress they cause.

Let me know if this helps your child. If your child is stills struggling maybe I can help with another skill.

Kerri Bainbridge

Educational Kinesiologist/ 0210781336/ bainbridgeka@gmail.com

Resources: Lazy 8 breathing

Junior Team gets Brain Gym training at Nelson Christian Academy

primative reflexesThe Nelson Christian Academy junior syndicate team asked me to present the fundamental skills for Literacy to them this week in a 1 hour presentation after school. I led them through a demonstration on how they can use Brain Gym in the classroom for Literacy and spoke about the link between school readiness and a child’s readiness for learning.

Having already done a full day Introduction to Brain Gym Workshop with me a few years back, New Entrant Teacher, Noeline Strange already uses Brain Gym in her class everyday. She knows just how important it is for developing the fundamental skills for her students as they learn the physical skills needed to read and write. Noeline has a range of resources available from my online shop that she uses along side the Brain Gym movements to build these vital skills.

Its not just about the act of reading or writing its about identifying the gaps – have they got the fine motors skills they need for pencil grip, do their eyes track across the page for reading, do they have the postural support to sit comfortably at the desk… just to name a few.

Here’s what some of the team thought of the training:

Was the training useful?

“Yes” says Hilary. “Some good practical thoughts.  Kerri was easy to listen to. Good balance of theory and practical.”

“yes” says Sarah. ” It makes a lot of sense. Kerri was clear and interesting. She made me feel like a child (would feel or from a child’s perspective).

“Yes” says Elise. ” Practical help.”

Yes” says Noeline. ” Helped remind me of different exercises (I can use). Informative.”

Contact me

If you are interested in what the foundation skills are for formal learning or about my workshops and presentations please go to my website www.braingymnelson.co.nz or phone me on 0210781336 today.

Foundation Skills Workshop at Paula’s Preschool in Tahunanui

Paula's PreschoolThe wonderful team at Paula’s Preschool recently did Professional Development with me. A great dedicated team who are enthusiastic about helping the kids in their care get the best start.

Foundation Skills Workshop Feedback


If you are interested in your team receiving this training go to Foundation Skills Workshops NOW.

Brain Gym Nelson -can you provide any feedback on this program?

Hi everyone

One of the things that parents tell me that helped them to make the decision about whether they gave Brain Gym a go was being able to see the Testimonials I get on my webpage or Facebook. Can anyone give me any feedback on their experience using this program with me please? Click on FEEDBACK to send it now.


Many thanks

Kerri Bainbridge




Kerri Bainbridge

Educational Kinesiologist

Brain Gym Nelson

1 2 3 4