Cerebellum Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Every time you play an instrument, ride your bike, balance on one foot, or sing a song, many muscles have to work together. Coordinating those muscle movements is the job of your cerebellum! Let's explore this important part of the brain.

What's A Cerebellum

Hanging down from the back of your brain is a piece of cauliflower. Oh, wait. That's not right. You don't have vegetables growing in your head, but the cerebellum is a wrinkly bundle of grayish-white brain tissue that looks like a piece of cauliflower.

The cerebellum likes like a piece of cauliflower.

Don't let the cerebellum's funny look fool you--this part of your brain is the reason you can balance on a skateboard, play the piano, and touch your finger to your nose without poking yourself in the eye.

Where Is The Cerebellum?

Your cerebellum sits under and behind your brain. If you wrap the palm of your hand around the back of your neck and then slide your hand up until you feel the hard, bony skull under your hand, you'll find the spot where your cerebellum sits beneath your skull.

The cerebellum is behind and below the brain.

The cerebellum has a nickname. It's sometimes called the 'little brain' because if you look at the brain from above or the side, the cerebellum looks like a little brother or sister to the main part of the brain.

One way you can recall the name and location of the cerebellum is to think of the cerebellum as a 'bell' that hangs from the back of your brain.

The cerebellum hangs like a bell off the back of the brain.

What Does The Cerebellum Do?

Let's do an experiment. Stretch your arms out to each side as far as they will go. Now, bend your arms and touch the pointer finger of each hand to the tip of your nose. Did you hit your target? If you did, you can thank your cerebellum!

The main job of the cerebellum is to coordinate your movements, which means it tells your muscles how to move together so that your movements are smooth and on target. If your cerebellum wasn't working, your finger might have ended up inside your nose, not on top of it.

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