The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (full documentary above) highlights case studies of patients suffering from a variety of neurological disorders and how their brain compensated for the associated disabilities. While much of the workings of the brain remain a mystery, one major discovery is the high adaptiveness and perpetual state of change our brains are in (i.e. neuroplasticity).
We unconsciously shape our brain through our actions and attitudes. This was revolutionary because it implied that we have the tools to be sharp in our 80's, we have the ability to learn new skills as young as 1. We need to engage our brain in order to think creatively, be resourceful, and even have a good memory. That means turning off the TV, tucking away the ipad, and talking through a puzzle game. If you keep fueling the fire, it will not go out.
When brainstorming names for our toy store, a favorite amongst everyone was neuroPLAYsticity. It accurately encompassed our mission - harness the brain's complex neural networks that recruit healthy cells when others are weakened or lost through play. While we ended up going with another favorite (Gray Matters), the name still is a reminder of why this toy store was created. If you give bright toys to bright minds, the result? Well, it's bright ideas. (No matter what age.)