• Did you know?




    Location: Sits at the base of the brain
    Also known as: The “Little Brain”
    Sensitive period of development: 0–1 year
    Responsible for: Coordination of movement, controlling posture, and finding balance in and out of motion

    Did you know that the cerebellum is the part of the brain that helps us with our balance and coordination?While we may think that we only need our balance and coordination for sporting activities, we forget their importance in helping us concentrate and navigate through our daily routines and tasks. When our brain fails to find balance and coordination, we will find it hard to focus and make sound judgement, which triggers our brain and body to try to find ways to regain balance. That is when we may fidget, move around, and even get a little clumsy to find the balance needed to refocus.

    The cerebellum is located at the base of the brain and serves as the foundation for which the other areas of the brain are built upon. Without this strong foundation in our brains, areas of the brain responsible for higher-order thinking and executive skills, such as planning, problem-solving, and creativity, will be compromised. By giving the cerebellum the appropriate amount of stimulation during its sensitive period of development, we are building the simple brain connections needed for the more complex connections to be constructed as the brain develops. This fundamental part of the brain, surprisingly, only has a short optimal window of opportunity to reach its potential. The most optimal time for developing this area is from birth to one year, but unfortunately, most parents miss out on this opportunity and neglect to provide beneficial activities to help build and stimulate this area for their children’s future growth.

    “It is easier and less costly to form strong brain circuits during the early years than it is to intervene or ‘fix’ them later…More importantly, the connections that form early provide either a strong or weak foundation for the connections that form later.”

    Source: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University


    During the first year of our children’s lives, lots of meaningful movement exercises can help them understand what it means to be in and out of balance, and how to move or be stationary within their space. Given a variety of movement experiences when out of balance, our children learn how to shift weight, coordinate their body parts and reposition themselves within the given space to restore stability to their systems. The more of these experiences they have before they turn one year old, the more information their brains can collect and record — thus, building stronger foundational brain connections for more complex connections to come.

    Here are some suggested equipment and movements to help children maximize the first crucial growth year of their lives.

    01 Slides
    Let children experience different kinds of slides. Give them a variety of textures, heights and curvatures to feel their bodies travelling at different speeds.

    02 Swings
    Propel forward and back,sway side to side and rotate both directions to allow children to experience different movements, learning how to strengthen their core muscles and lean their upper and lower bodies to maintain balanced.

    03 Trampoline/Lycra Bed
    Bouncing up and down and tossing around can help children understand vertical movements while stabilizing their joints and toning their muscles.

    04 Scooter Board
    Spin and let children travel in various directions. While learning how to balance, children can also build muscles in their neck, core and back.

    05 Wedges & Mats
    Let children tumble and roll. Whether it is forward, backward or on their sides, allow children to experience their worlds upside down and right side up while increasing body and spatial awareness.

    If you don’t have any of these equipment at home but would like to make sure you are providing the stimulation input for your young child, try dancing with them! Turn on some music, carry your child, and wiggle, sway, spin, and bounce with them! Not only is this great for brain development, but you are also bonding with your child while you are holding them close to you

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  • A Parent Perspective


    “Time goes by very quickly, learn to appreciate and enjoy each and
    every stage with them, including the seemingly unbearable ones.”
    –   Cinci Leung, Chinese Medicine Practitioner and mother of 2

    Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your career?

    I’m straight forward, optimistic and curious. I am the type that when something comes to mind, I would need to immediately act on it and follow through. My family consists of me and my 3Hs – my husband Henry, my son Harry and a newborn daughter Hannah. I’m a registered Chinese medicine practitioner and practice in my own clinic in Central. Apart from seeing patients, I promote preventive healthcare. I am constantly exploring new ways to promote Chinese Medicine and preventive healthcare. I’d like to continue to share my insights and knowledge of how simple dietary changes can help us to maintain our health and that of our family.

    I launched my first book, Chinese Healing Soups, in July 2015, which is now on its 7th edition. I also recently launched my second book, Chinese Healing Soups 2, which focuses on children from age 5 months to 12 years old. I am opening a new shop by end of October, which will be a TCM clinic plus herbal drinks shop. There are definitely a lot of exciting things coming up!

    Congratulations on your new book which is again one of the bestselling cook book in Hong Kong. Can you give us one tip on healthy eating for children?

    Thank you!
    There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to children diets but if I could only stress one thing, it would be- less cold and raw foods. It will hinder the development of the children’s stomach and spleen, (which acts similarly to the digestive system). When the stomach and spleen are weak, a person will have a hard time absorbing necessary nutrients from the food they eat or would be prone to developing related illness like eczema, diarrhea, or loss in appetite.

    How do you juggle between work and kids?

    I have become good at multitasking. My clinic hours are by appointment only, so it gives me more flexibility to complete different tasks in between appointments. I’m also very passionate towards what I’m doing- I love being a TCM practitioner and I love my kids, which makes me very efficient at completing the various tasks involved.

    With your knowledge and background in Chinese medicine, any health tips you can share with other moms out there with young children?

    Simple dietary changes can make a significant difference. For example, rice water is a simple remedy to lessen the burden of our digestive systems and nourish the stomach and spleen. So here’s a quick recipe for your readers-

    Ingredients: 2tbsp of White rice, 2tbsp of Red rice, 2tbsp of Coix seeds
    Method: Rinse all ingredients and pour into a pot with around 600mL of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Rice water must be consumed within the same day.

    Can you tell us a bit about Essentials by Cinci? What is the philosophy behind this brand?

    I have recently renamed my brand to CheckCheckCin, which means “to check first” in Cantonese. Checking first will kick-start a balanced living, which is the key to a new preventative approach using traditional Chinese Medicine principles to make easy and healthy decisions. Each individual has a unique body type, so it’s important to “check first” and eat right for your individual needs to prevent a multitude of ailments and illnesses. Bitter medicine and strict diet regimes aren’t the only paths to a healthy lifestyle! Under CheckCheckCin, we will soon be launching an easy-to-use mobile app, new lifestyle products and a new herbal drinks shop, so stay tuned!

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?

    Time goes by very quickly, learn to appreciate and enjoy each and every stage with them, including the seemingly unbearable ones.

    Top tips for women who want to reach their full potential and ‘have it all’?

    Be patient and take the time to find your true passion. Do not aim to “have it all”. When you’re doing something you really love, it’ll be easy to immerse yourself in that field – and you’ll develop an intuitive feel for the opportunities that lie ahead.

    To find out more about Check Check Cin, please check out www.facebook.com/cinciec

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  • Did you know?


    “KindyROO is where parents gain knowledge about important milestones that children need to reach” – Marianne Schriever, Neurophysiological Development Specialist

    Building the Learning Blocks for Life
    We were fortunate enough to catch up with Marianne Schriever, Neurophysiological Development Specialist and ambassador for KindyROO (also known as GymbaROO). Given her extensive experience of travelling abroad and talking to parents and teachers about KindyROO, we chat about the most common questions parents ask about the programme.

    In just under 5 minutes, Marianne covers:

    1. What is the KindyROO programme all about?
    2. How is KindyROO different to a playgroup?
    3. What is the recommended age to start KindyROO classes?
    4. What does a normal KindyROO class look like?
    5. What does KindyROO ultimately do for my child?

    Watch the video with Marianne here.

    For more information about KindyROO including programme descriptions for 6 weeks – 3 years, sample class rundown and KindyROO class schedule, visit our KindyROO@SPRING page.

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