top of page

How the Brain Develops

From the Bottom Up

In the early years, the brain is focused on supporting a child's physical development and well-being. That means the brain is more interested in movement than mathematics right now.


Brain science is quite complex, so for our purposes here, imagine the brain with different levels. Take a look at our infographic below. While all the levels are working at the same time, in young children the brain prioritizes the lower levels first.

This is why your child is hungry for physical and sensory stimulation of all kinds from active and silly to gentle and loving.


Why This Matters...

For optimal development, think PHYSICAL FIRST. Make everything playful. Engage all their senses and all parts of their body from head to toe. That's what nature calls "learning."

When it comes learning think PHYSICAL FIRST.

The Levels of the Brain

Kandu Brain Graphic.png

From Physical to Cognitive


The brain stem keeps our survival systems going such as breathing and digestion. And it is also where early movement blossoms through involuntary reflexes.


The senses are scouts bringing news of the world to our brain. The brain processes that information into personal meaning, decision-making and action. (I like strawberries so I'll reach for more.)


Sometimes known as the Cerebellum, the midbrain is the command central for physical movement, muscle control, and muscle memory.

Thinking & Reasoning

The Cortex is ‘the thinking brain’ where we learn to read, write, add, subtract, reason, problem-solve, create, and invent. This is where information is transformed into ideas. In other words, how we think.


The Limbic system controls our emotional lives and determines behavior. It also manages the ins and outs of social development (making friends, sharing, cooperation, empathy, etc.)

Snail the Whale

Turning around in both directions is a simple way to help kids develop their balance. Meet Snail the Whale…


There once was a Whale named Snail

Who couldn’t find his tail

3 spins to the left.

3 spins to the right.

Never failed to help Snail find his tail.

...and it doesn't look like learning. 


How kids develop courage.  LEARN MORE...

Seven? Yes, seven. The two senses we didn't learn about in school. LEARN MORE...

And there's more...

bottom of page