The Brain

Brain Facts For Kids

You will not believe how amazing the brain is, and we’ve got the coolest brain facts right here. Ever wondered who the boss was? Well of course it’s your mam or dad, but the boss of your body is your mighty brain!

It helps you remember how to get to your friend’s house, makes you blink without thinking and it even controls your dreams. But it’s way more than that.

Read on, you will be seriously surprised, oh and your brain will be working overtime too!

the brain

The Brain – an Awesome Organ

  • Bet you think a computer is the best thing in the world right? Think it’s super speedy and can do everything? Well it’s not. Welcome to the brain…it’s much more powerful than any super computer you can find! Think about when you have to act in a hurry, maybe a glass is just about to fall off the table. Your brain controls everything that you need to do to save that glass from falling. First your eyes check out what’s going on, then tells your brain how quickly you need to react, and then your muscles spring into action. That is super speedy timing and is just from one little organ in our bodies. No computer could ever come close to that!  Cool hey.

******

  • The brain weighs just 3 pounds (about 1.3 kg’s) and is a wrinkly, pink organ that feels a bit like a soft mushroom. Hmm, not sure we want to touch it too much! It is about 6 inches long (16cm), about 5.5 inches wide (14cm) and nearly 4 inches deep (10cm). But this magical machine controls everything you do from thinking, learning, feeling emotions, even breathing and your heart rate. This is one seriously complex organ that has baffled scientists for years.

pink brain

******

  • Even though the brain is just 2% of your body weight, it uses around 20% of all your energy from the blood and oxygen in your body. That’s a lot for such a small organ.

******

  • Your brain stops growing when your 18, but don’t be calling your parents silly just yet. It actually keeps on developing and learns new things until you’re in your 40’s. So your parents are really super smart! You won’t be able to fool them.

brain

******

  • Ever seen a picture of a person with a light bulb over their heads? Well this fact puts a whole new light on those pictures (new light – get it?). Did you know that your brain actually produces enough electricity to power a light bulb? Yep, it’s true! It would be cool to know how to actually power up that light bulb with our brains, maybe someday we’ll know.

******

  • There are about 100 billion tiny, tiny little cells in our brains called neurons. There are so many that it would take you over 3,000 years to count them all. Start counting now…see how far you can get in 5 minutes! Now imagine counting to 100 billion…eek!

neurons

******

  • There are neurons in your brain that tell everything what to do. They send more messages than all the phones in the entire world. What? That’s unbelievable. They send all that crazy info to your brain at more than 150 miles per hour (241km’s). That is the same speed that a bullet train can reach…seriously fast. But if you need to act quickly motor neurons can send information at more than 200 miles per hour (322km’s). Unbelievable!

******

  • Believe it or not, your brain NEVER stops working. There are literally heaps of messages that charge around your brain every second just like a supercharged pinball machine.

brain activity

 

******

  • So this is slightly weird…the right side of your brain talks to the left side of your body, as in it tells it what to do, and the left side of the brain chats to the right side of the body. No one really understands why, that’s just the way it is.

******

  • An elephant’s brain is much larger than a human brain, but it only makes up 0.15% of their overall weight. So when you compare it to our brains, which take up 2% of our body weight, we’ve still got the largest brain to body size! No wonder we’re better than super computers!

******

  • Our brains are three times bigger than that of a chimpanzee. Wow, we’re obviously the smartest people on the planet.

chimpanzee

******

  • Now this is hard to believe, you actually have about 70,000 thoughts each day! Wow. What in the world are we all thinking about?

How the Brain Works

Ever heard about the fact that we only use 10% of our brain’s capacity? Well it’s actually not true! Every single part of our brain does something. Read on to find out more.

  • First there’s the cerebrum, which is the largest part of your brain, in fact it takes up 85% of the total size of the brain. But what in the world does it do? It’s actually the thinking part of your brain; it controls your muscles, so if your cerebrum ain’t working you wouldn’t be able to walk or dance or even kick a football. Wow. As it’s for thinking you’re also using it when you’re learning all those super cool things at school, or when you’re learning about all these great facts about the brain that we’re teaching you now.

thinking kid

******

  • Next comes the cerebellum which is also a very important part of your brain. It controls your balance, so without it you’d be falling all over the place. You could look a bit strange being so wobbly!

******

  • Now onto the brain stem…a small but mighty force to be reckoned with! The brain stem controls all your muscles that you don’t need to think about, like breathing, keeping your heart pumping and even telling your stomach to digest the food you eat. Luckily it’s there to keep our bodies doing what they’re meant to do, without us even knowing about it! Imagine trying to sort and organize all that information…way too much for us, but a breeze for our brains.

brain stem diagram

******

  • There’s a little area in the brain called the amygdala, and it’s about the size of a walnut. This helps us to understand how people are feeling by just looking at them. Wow, a walnut sized bit of brain can do that.

******

  • Of course this super powered organ needs some protection, and that protection is the skull. It’s made up of 22 bones that are all joined together to keep it safe and sound.

******

  • The brain is actually also surrounded by fluid, which means it kind of floats in the liquid. This protects the brain from any bumps and knocks and also helps to keep sickness at bay.

sickness emoticon

******

  • The brain is made up of about 75% water and is rather a chubby little organ, made up of around 60% fat…hmm, it better watch out what it’s eating.

******

  • Did you know that your brain actually can’t feel any pain? There are no pain receptors in it.

******

  • Then there’s the hypothalamus. This is like a thermostat that lives inside your brain and makes sure your body stays at the right temperature, which is about 98.6°F (37°C). If you’re too hot, you’ll sweat and if you’re too cold you’ll start to shiver. This is your hypothalamus doing its job. Pretty awesome.

Seriously Interesting Brain Facts

  • Your skin actually weighs twice as much as your brain.

skin

******

  • When a baby is born, their brain is almost the same size as an adult brain, wow for such small little things that’s amazing. It reaches its full size at age 6. Even though it’s almost the same size, it still grows three times its size in the first year.

******

  • If you learn two languages before the age of five it actually changes how your brain looks. It will actually have much thicker gray matter. Who would think that learning something could actually change the way your brain looks?

******

  • Now no one knows this for sure, but scientists think that a yawn is trying to play knock, knock with you to wake it up, by sending oxygen to your brain. So next time you yawn, best you open those peepers and tell your brain you’re awake.

yawn

******

  • When you’re sick you get a temperature and this is your body’s way of fighting off those nasty bugs. But don’t get too worried, the highest temperature ever recorded in a man was 115.7⁰F (47⁰C). That is seriously high, but he survived to tell the tale.

******

  • Do you think that food can make you smarter? Well it can, if you eat the right foods. If you eat a lunch that doesn’t include all those nasty artificial flavors, preservatives and dyes you can actually do better at school. A study was done and when students ate healthily they did 14% better on IQ tests. So best you eat really good food to make you a smarty pants.

******

  • Have you ever noticed that it doesn’t tickle if you try and tickle yourself? It seems weird as you’re doing the same thing somebody else would. Well that amazing brain actually knows your touch from somebody else which is why it doesn’t tickle. You can see why the brain is more powerful than any super powered computer.

tickled laughing

******

  • Do you think that girls and boys feel pain in the same way? Well they actually don’t strangely enough; boys and girls have completely different reactions to pain.

******

  • Now this is weird. There are some people called super tasters. Why? They’ve got more taste buds on their tongues and their brains are more sensitive to tastes. They are able to taste flavors that other people can’t.

******

  • Boys and girls also make decisions in a different way. Why? Well nobody knows really, but a girl will take longer to make a decision but will stick to it, and a boy will make a decision far quicker, but they will often change their minds after they’ve made the decision. Who would have known that boys and girls are different in so many ways!

******

  • Do you ever get bored? Well the reason this happens is that as humans we’re very curious, and if we don’t have something to do that sparks our interest we think we’re bored. So next time you’re bored, head off and find something interesting to do.

bored

******

  • It’s been proven that if you’re sad you want to spend money. So next time you’re sad don’t ask your parents for money as you might just spend it all in one go.

******

  • Have you ever had jet lag from a long flight? Well apparently if you get jet lag loads of times it can make your memory worse. Not too many long flights then.

jetlag

******

  • If you really want to remember something then make an association with something; for example if you want to remember a person’s name you could remember it by thinking of a famous actor or singer. There, you’ll remember it for ages and ages.

******

  • Do you ever get stuck for words and it’s on the tip of your tongue but just won’t come out? There’s actually a name for this unbelievably; it’s called anomia.

forgetful frog

******

  • Next time you don’t want to go to sleep, remember that sleep helps your brain to remember all your memories from the day, and if you don’t sleep you could have trouble creating new memories. So make sure you get enough shut eye each night as you don’t want to forget cool experiences and interesting stuff you’ve learnt.

******

  • There is a world champion memorizer! His name was Ben Pridmore and he memorized 96 historical events in 5 minutes and memorized a single, shuffled deck of cards in 26.28 seconds. Now that’s something truly amazing.

******

  • Every single person dreams, even if you don’t remember them, you’re still dreaming. Most people dream for about 1 to 2 hours and have about 4 to 7 dreams each night. The only time you won’t dream is if you’re snoring! So if you hear rather loud snores coming from your parent’s room, you know they’re definitely not dreaming.

snoring dreaming

******

  • When you are dreaming, your brain waves are super active. They charge around like crazy, even more so than during the day when you’re awake.

******

  • If you struggle to remember dreams then you need to write them down quickly. Five minutes after a dream, you’ve already forgotten half of it, and ten minutes later you would only remember 10% of the dream.

******

  • Did you know that you can dream in black and white and color? Only about 12% of people dream in black and white and the rest of us in color. Interesting stuff.

black and white

******

  • When you’re asleep you’re virtually paralyzed.

******

  • A new invention could be coming our way soon. The Japanese have developed a technology that might be able to put your dreams onto a screen. That’s crazy. Can you imagine watching your dreams like a TV show? That’s probably a good way to remember them.

******

  • Here’s a good activity to try…juggling, yes juggling. It can change your brain in 7 days, helping it to grow stronger and of course smarter. So next time you see a juggler, you’ll know they’re pretty clever people.

juggling

******

  • Did you know that we blink around 20,000 times per day? Try counting how many times you blink in a minute. Amazingly each time we blink our brain kicks into gear to keep things light to make sure that the world doesn’t go dark. Our brains are amazing.

******

  • There are over 7,000 brains in a Brain Bank at Harvard which they use for research. Walking into that room could be a bit freaky.

******

  • When you laugh your brain is working overtime. So next time you laugh think about this…five different areas of your brain all need to work together to get that laugh out.

laughing

******

  • When someone yawns, do you yawn too? Most people do, and it’s been said that yawning is contagious. Scientists think that comes from ancient times and was a way that we used to communicate.

******

  • If you’re left handed or can write with both hands a part of the brain called the corpus callosum, which acts like a bridge between both sides of the brain, is 11% larger than people who are right handed. Wow.

******

  • If you sit on the sofa loads playing video games or watching TV, it’s time to get outside and exercise. There is proof that exercise can make you smarter and happier too. If you’re stuck with some homework, get up, go outside and have a quick run!

running child

******

  • Now this is scary. Dieting can force your brain to eat itself. No more diets then, just plain old healthy eating.

******

  • When we see stuff, we actually see it upside down. But our brain changes it so that we see things the right side up. This is one seriously clever organ.

******

  • We’ve got loads of blood vessels in our brains and if we had to stretch them out flat they would be about 62,000 miles long (100,000km’s)! We could wrap them around the earth four times. How on earth do they actually fit in our bodies? Amazing stuff.

******

  • Have you seen how thick the Encyclopedia Britannica is? Well our brains can hold 5 times more information than any encyclopedia. In electronic terms the storage capacity is between 3 and 1,000 terabytes. Do you know how much information that is? A lot, that’s what.

encyclopaedia

******

  • The National Archives of Britain, which covers 900 years of history, takes up to 70 terabytes of information. Now compare that to the brain…pretty impressive right?

******

  • No wonder we love chocolate so much. Apparently the smell of chocolate increases certain brain waves which make us feel relaxed!

Famous People’s Brains

  • As bright as he was, Aristotle thought that all the things that our brains do actually happened in the heart. Sorry, not quite right Aristotle.

******

  • Albert Einstein was a genius, but amazingly his brain was similar in size to other people. But, there is a part of the brain that is just for all things math, and this part of his brain was 35% wider than the average. Saying that though his brain only weighed 2.7 pounds (1.2kg’s) which is less than the average 3 pounds (1.3kg’s).

einstein

******

  • The pathologist who did the autopsy on Albert Einstein stole his brain and kept it in a jar for over 20 years. Maybe he thought it would make him super brainy too.

******

  • London taxi drivers are world famous for knowing all of London’s streets by heart. They have a larger than normal hippocampus, which is responsible for memory. Science has shown that when people memorize more and more and more information that part of the brain keeps growing.

******

  • The oldest brain ever found is thought to be about 2000 years old. It would be interesting to see what it looks like after that length of time.

******

  • Babe Ruth was tested by some students at Columbia and they found that his brain worked at 90% efficiency, which is more than the 60% average for most people. No wonder he was one of the most famous baseball players ever!

babe ruth

The brain – unbelievable, mighty, amazing, powerful and quite astounding. Who would have thought that all this greatness sat right in our heads?

Useful Websites

The Brain and Nervous System on KidsHealth.

Activity Time

pdficon_small Download Questions about The Brain (all answers found on this page)