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Brain Boom

kidsparents2 yearschild3 yearschildrenkid4 years5 years1 year0 yearBright from the StartJill StammUpside Downbrainboom

Do you wish to keep your own sanity, but are you also very interested in the understanding your children? Trust me, in terms of development, the first five years of their life is the most important time of their life. After birth, the child’s brain is about 25% of its “mature” size. Before their second birthday, their brain develops to 75%. At five years, the child’s brain goes up to almost 90% of the adult weight and volume.

When bringing up our children, we were inspired by many books - see Library but two books about “smart” playing. “Baby Minds” from Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn and Bright from the Start, Jill Stamm, Gotham Books, 2007. Both books talk about what is good to do, not only for the brain of your child, but so that they have a greater ability to learn and develop. And especially in their first three years of life.

At the same time, the books will guide you through the incredible world of the brain boom, which concerns every newcomer to this world. The translation of WHY you should pursue systematic playtime, can be found in the following text - extract from a chapter “5 Wows Every Parent Should Know” of the book Bright from the Start, Jill Stamm and Paula Spencer, Gotham Books, NY, 2007.

#1: Intelligence Can Be Shaped After Birth

“A child is born with an IQ range that can vary by as much as twenty or thirty points. Child’s IQ and ability to function well also depends on the environmental experiences that she is exposed to on a consistent basis.”

#2: The Majority of the Brain’s Basic Wiring Occurs in the First Few Years of Life

“The brain begins life outside the womb remarkably unfinished - only about a quarter of its eventual adult size. Yet before your child’s seconf birthday, it will have ramped up to three-fourth of adult size, and will be almost at its adult weight and volume (ninety percent) by age five.” “In these earliest years, the way information flows throught the brain’s structures and gets processed is largely established. These pathways and structures will be used as learning continues throughout life.” “Although most of the brain cells (neurons) were produced before birth, they’re poorly connected. The majority of the connections between neurons, called synapses, must be created after birth.”

#3: How the Brain Grows Can Be Influenced by How It’s Used

The growth of the neurons connections depends upon continually adapting to new input and changing conditions. “ Which connections are formed and which connections are iltimately retained are initially shaped by one’s early experiences. Key factors are: Repetition, Routine, and positive Reinforcement.

#4: Early Brain Wiring Is Resistant to Change

“Infancy and toddlerhood brain structures that wire up earliest provide a kind of “organizing template”, influencing future growth and developement.” “The earlier a system is set up, the more resistent it is to change.” “If a cild has a strong amotional start, he’s likely to be resilient and able to cope with stressors later in life.”

  • “Create interesting experiences.

  • Assure a strong sense of security.

  • Lovingly hold and touch your child frequently.

  • Share interesting things to look at and hear.”

#5: It’s never too late!

“The brain has a remarkable, lifelong capacity to reorganize itself in response to the information it receives from the enviroment.” It’s never too late to help your child develop attention, bonding and communication.”“The most important thing a parent can provide is a loving, stable relationship that leads to frequent, meaningful, and responsive interastions whith their baby or toddler. Prevention save time, money, and heartache- and it’s not difficult to achive.”

Text: Lenka Míkovcová, 2013

Translation: Marek Hubbel