The child development that happens in a child’s first years of life is critical to what kind of adult they are going to be. While the brain begins to develop prenatally, those first three years of life are a critical period. The brain develops more than a million neural connections every second! That’s a busy brain!
These connections are determined by a child’s first experiences. relationships and their environment. However, there are other factors that play a role as well. Things such as a mother’s nutrition during pregnancy or exposure to toxins and infections can also impact a child’s development.
There are several things you can do promote healthy development in children. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Talk to babies using expressive language and facial expressions.
- Look babies in the eyes while you are holding them and feeding them.
- Read their cues and respond to babies immediately when they are in distress
- Allow mobile children the chance to explore on their own in a safe environment free of hazards
- Read stories to children- begin to build those early literacy skills right away
- Talk, talk, talk- I can’t stress enough the importance of talking and singing to children. Work on building their vocabulary early on
- Allow young children lots of opportunity for hands on play. Pretend play, outdoor play, sensory play i.e. sand and water, arts and crafts- these activities allow children plenty of fun but they are also learning lots!
- Avoid screens- this means extremely limit all TV shows, DVD’s, tablets, computers, and phones use.
This is not an exclusive list there are many, many things that parents and caregivers can do to promote healthy brains and healthy children. Check back regularly for additional articles and posts. You can also follow me on Facebook for the latest updates.