Together with curiosity, skills related to spatial and logical thinking are important for every child’s development. ‘Wow! Look at that!’ ‘What is this?’ and ‘How does it work?’ are reactions that our team at the Centre for Brain and Learning of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam hopes to inspire from children who use our learning materials.

Our team at the Centre for Brain and Learning of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam develops innovative learning materials that stimulate the development of spatial and logical skills. New scientific insights suggest that these skills are relevant for children’s neuropsychological development during primary school. That’s why we develop new materials, as well as introducing challenging instructions for existing materials. We call this project BrainSquare! (in Dutch: BreinPlein!), and it consists of construction materials, puzzles and tasks for the development of thinking and concentration skills.

This is a short video about BreinPlein! at primary school. To watch the video, click.

BrainSquare! helps develop children’s neurocognitive skills: A short informative video.

Various organizations and schools have been working with materials developed by BrainSquare! since 2012. Our video shows children aged between 5 and 12 years using these materials and instructions at primary school level. The children train their neurocognitive skills by working with innovative learning materials for science and technology. that also stimulate their curiosity. The video gives an idea about the possibilities within classroom settings and introduces some of the materials used. BrainSquare! materials have been used at approximately 40 schools. More information and materials will soon be available on the following websites: www.hersenenenleren.nl and www.breinplein.nl.

Which neurocognitive skills does BrainSquare! help develop? 

BrainSquare! helps develop many cognitive and non-cognitive functions and skills. The main focus is on thinking and creativity, on problem solving, spatial reasoning and planning. But BrainSquare! also stimulates the development of attention, concentration, and spatial skills, as well as helping children with fine and complex motor skills, perception, estimating and measuring distances, time and understanding forces. The development of these neurocognitive skills is important for academic performance in general, and for learning mathematics or language in particular. BrainSquare! also stimulates the use of (new) words and helps children to communicate. The materials we developed have been greeted enthusiastically by teachers and students (aged 5 to 12).

The BrainSquare! project has been made possible by the financial support of the Platform Betatechniek (Talentenkracht) and the financial support of NWO (Nationaal Inititiatief Hersenen en Cognitie). We thank all the students and staff of the Willem-Alexanderschool in Bergen (NH, the Netherlands), as well as the Tabijn organization for primary schools, for their cooperation.