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Now in print: The Genius of Natural Childhood

Sally Goddard Blythe, director of The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, says that what is important is using music, singing and

lullabies to playfully get a baby ready for language. She suggests using fairy tales to teach moral behaviour and empathy. She shows,

using neuroscience, how movement with singing games such as

Pata-cake, Pat-a-cake and rough and tumble play enable children to

learn motor skills and self control naturally.

Without such activities, a large proportion of five year olds  may be  held back by baby reflexes, which can stop them holding a pencil properly

or learning to read, for example. A Northern Ireland study found traces of baby reflexes in 48% of first year children and 35% of fourth

years.She says,

‘It’s alarming the proportion of children with immature motor skills when they start school, regardless of intelligence. A

significant percentage of children have problems they don’t need to have. They seem to have missed out on early stages of development.

’Here are the secrets of thriving children – why early movement matters and how games develop children’s motor skills. Sally Goddard Blythe offers a handy starter kit of stories, action games, songs and rhymes and explains:

Why movement is essential for healthy brain development

Just how music, songs, lullabies and nursery rhymes prepare the brain for language

The importance of ‘rough and tumble’ play for emotional and social development

How fairy tales help children face fears, develop empathy and moral behaviour

The links between learning problems, sedentary lifestyles and over exposure to the electronic media

What to look for if your child doesn’t seem ready for school

Favourite baby massage rhymes, action songs, finger plays and rhymes with Jane Williams of Gymbaroo

An inspiration for supporting young children – her engaging use of the latest neuroscientific insights show justwhy the

‘old fashioned ways’ often had it right all along.

‘old fashioned ways’ often had it right all along.

‘old fashioned ways’ often had it right all along.

Sally Goddard Blythe’s delightfully illustrated book is about the natural vitality of young children and how they can thrive.

Reflexes, Learning and Behaviour, Attention Balance andCoordination—the ABC of Learning Success, What Babies and Children Really Need and The Well Balanced Child  – now widely translated. She is also the author of a screening test and movement programme for schools due to be published later this year.Many children are just not ready for school at age 5.

 One reason may be that busy parents have abandoned nursery rhymes, bedtime stories, singing lullabies and playing with their children. Sally Goddard Blythe uses neuroscience to show just why such ‘old fashioned ways’ are among the secrets of thriving children in her eagerlyawaited new book,


To request review copies or arrange an interview with the author, please contact: Martin Large, Hawthorn Press

Tel: 01453 757040 email: or

The Genius of Natural Childhood

is published by Hawthorn Press in the Early Years’ Series, price £14.99.

PUBLICATION DATE: 1 June 2011 ISBN: 978-1-907359-04-0 Paperback 234 x 156mm 240 pp

Available from all good bookshops, online at or by mail order from Booksource, Tel (0845) 370 0063

Professor Colwyn Trevarthen, Child Psychology, The University of Edinburgh

SALLY GODDARD BLYTHE is Director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester, a research, training and clinical organisation which has pioneered research into the neuroscience of specific learning difficulties. An international authority on remedial programmes, she has authored numerous professional papers and books such as

Dr Richard House, Roehampton University

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