Why Early Learning Matters
Did you know that 85% of brain development happens in the first five years of a child’s life? Did you also know that secure relationships with responsive adults actually help shape a baby’s brain circuitry?
A child’s emotional-, cognitive-, language- and motor skills are all formed through the firing and formation of neural pathways that are built during these first five crucial years. Research shows that children that receive high-quality interaction and experience with a parent or carer during these early learning years will have a better foundation of literacy-, numeracy- and social skills as well as emotional- and physical health in later years. Sadly, the opposite is true for children who don’t.
Knowing how crucial the early learning years are and why they matter is essential for parents. How can you as a parent maximise these early learning years? Aside from meeting their basic human needs of food, warmth and shelter, what other critical behaviours and activities can you do on a daily basis to enhance it?
An infant left alone for hours on end will actually experience brain regression. Daily, positive, affirming and loving interactions with a parent or carer is the first step in developing a healthy and inquisitive brain.
Many parents work full-time of course, so if it cannot be you offering this kind of interaction, make sure you choose a high-quality carer or care centre, like Active Kids Group, to ensure
your child is receiving positive and dependable interaction all the time that will allow their brains to learn effectively.
Believe it or not, children thrive on routine. From the minute they are born, establishing a routine, to the best of your ability, will allow your child to feel safe and to consistently know what is expected of them and their environment. Providing a healthy routine of eating, sleeping, playing, learning and quiet time is a great way to maximise early learning.
Talking to your children, and not in a baby way, all the time is essential in assisting them to develop a rich language base.
Specialists encourage reading to your children daily as well as constantly pointing to objects and saying what they are. In addition, explaining what you are doing as you are doing it all contributes to the child hearing a vast array of words and phrases each day.
A great way to incorporate this kind of interaction daily is to allow them to safely watch you cook, explain what you are doing with the food and how you intend to cook it. They may not understand the wording, but they will be taking in the language, nuances and phrases you are using. Because of this, their language base will be expanding without you even knowing it.
Be hands-on with your children, play and interact with them at their level. Think of innovative, new ways of introducing concepts and games. Most of all, don’t stop having fun while learning with your children.