Mini-Guide: GoNoodle

LQ: 9.7

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Brain grade: 9.4
Fun score: 10

GoNoodle
Platform/Console: , , , LWK Recommended Age: Any Thinking Skills Used: , , , Academic Skills Used: , ,

GoNoodle is a web-based platform that offers hundreds of videos to activate the mind and the body together. You can search the videos by title (such as The Pizza Man), category (such as breathe, brainercise, or call and repeat), and channels (such as Blazer Fresh, which has hip hop videos on educational topics such as reading with expression). There are videos with silly songs (Kitty High Five), as well as videos with guided meditations and short yoga sessions.

GoNoodle also has a minor gaming component to it in the form of an alien/monster called a champ. The player gets to design the champ by picking things like how many eyes it will have. The player can earn clothing and accessories for the monster by watching videos. For every ten videos watched, the player gets a new item for their monster. The service is designed with elementary school aged children in mind, and can be used in classrooms or at home. although the whole family can benefit from and have fun with these videos.

GoNoodle is optimized for schools, so it’s best accessed on a Windows or Mac computer. There is limited support for the platform on iPad and Android. The website and app are free, with a paid version called GoNoodle Plus available.


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GoNoodle helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Focus

Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

While the skills GoNoodle helps improve will depend on the videos chosen, the service offers many videos that practice the focus thinking skill. The Flow channel has guided meditations such as "Let's Unwind" and "From Mindless to Mindful" to help with both ignoring internal distractions and ignoring external distractions. The Think About It channel has videos titled "Find Peace" and "Let It Go." There is even an Empower channel which has videos titled "Relieve Anxiety" and "Strengthen Your Focus." Watch these videos with your child until you have found the ones that appeal to them.

GoNoodleFlexibility

Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

GoNoodle also provides plenty of videos that can give your child the chance to practice trying new things, an important aspect of cognitive flexibility. While the specific videos that will be new experiences for your child will obviously vary, they are likely to find something new to try within the guided dance video category (ranging from the electric slide to the dab) and videos on the Blazer Fresh channel (which encourage children to "Think Like a Scientist" or "Read with Expression"). These are all fun, safe ways (especially if you participate in them with your child) to practice the skill of trying new things.

Self-Control

Managing our actions, feelings, and behaviors.

The Flow, Empower, and Think About It channels of GoNoodle also provide some great practice for the self-control cognitive skill of managing frustration and anger. The Think About It channel, for example, has a short one-minute guided meditation about grudges and anger that can help a child let go of anger by lightening their heart and pointing out that grudges only hold back the angry person. It is short, to the point, and calming. Practicing self-control with videos like this one (and many others) gives children the chance to practice, and eventually remember, these techniques when they are experiencing a moment of active anger and frustration. With so many to choose from, finding one that addresses a specific need or interests a specific child is easy.

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.

Most every video includes a "follow-along" element. This means that GoNoodle provides ample opportunity to practice working memory by following a set of directions. Guided dance videos, for example, will require the child to pay attention and remember as the moves are explained and demonstrated. They will start with one part of the step and slowly build on it, then increase the speed, until the child is actually executing the dance. This is a fun way to improve forgetfulness and practice following the leader.

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