Understanding My Brain: Becoming Human(E)!


When children learn about how their brain works, it enables better decision making and choices to help them feel safe, find calm and to build social-emotional skills.

Tips for Adults Using This Book with Their Children: Think of this as a science book for children ages 5-10, made fun through the lens of four animals. Lizzie the Lizard Plays the Hindbrain, Malcolm the Meerkat Plays the Amygdala, Elsie the Elephant Plays the Limbic Brain and Ozzie the Owl Plays the Prefrontal Cortex!  Complex topics are broken down to help your child understand the science behind their brain and their behavior. Through learning and exploring, they will have increased self-awareness and the tools to stay healthy, safe and calm – socially and emotionally.  What better way to help children learn to identify their emotions and sensations, the size of their emotions/sensations and to promote practices for self-regulation.

This book is designed to be read with your child/children over time. Depending on your child’s developmental age, some may grasp the concepts faster while others may need more time. The most important thing is to create an enjoyable learning experience for you and your child together. Take their lead! If they continue to be interested, then keep reading. If they show signs they are finished for now, listen to those cues and transition to another activity.

Offer moments of pause and reflection throughout the book where you can each talk about how you have experienced the part of the brain you are learning about.

Remember when you “teach children” (lecture),  they may remember but when you “involve them and have fun” (engage them in a two-way interactive conversation building on their interests) they will learn. (Quote adapted by Benjamin Franklin)

About the Author:  Julie Kurtz is an author, national speaker and parent coach consulting and training on trauma, social-emotional skills and resilience. She promotes the concept of optimal brain integration to maximize the human growth potential. Julie is the Founder and CEO for the Center for Optimal Brain Integration®. Julie Kurtz is the creator of the phone/tablet Application Trigger Stop: Sensory and Emotional Check-in designed specifically for children (ages 3-8) to promote sensory and emotional literacy in support of self-regulation. Learn more at www.optimalbrainintegration.com.