Sunday, September 2, 2012

Are You a Brain Hero?

By Deborah McNelis, Owner Brain Insights and author of The Brain Development Series.  

Early Childhood Brain Development from Brain Insights
As you know, a child’s brain continues to develop long after birth. And of course he term “brain development” refers to more than how smart a child is. It is the actual growth that takes place in the brain. The experiences a child has in the first few years creates the connections between brain cells and develops the foundation for relationships and learning throughout life. 

Nutrition, sleep, regular routines, physical activity, play, and repeated positive experiences with caring adults, strengthens the connections to create the growth of a brain. This makes the brain healthy, ready to get along with others, and eager for more learning.

However, constant exposure to stress, limited stimulation, poor nutrition and lack of a nurturing relationship all create a brain being “wired” in a way that leads to emotional and learning problems. 

Growing brains adapt to the environment they are exposed to. A brain will adapt to a negative environment just as easily as it will adapt to a positive environment
Understanding this creates the awareness that adults in a child’s life can have a long-lasting impact. And this provides a wonderful opportunity to create the most positive experiences for a healthy and well developed brain.

Following are a few areas to focus on and share with every adult you know!
Nurturing relationships and Early Brain Development from Brain Insights

Warm Responsive Care ~ Children’s primary need is to know they are loved. This is only learned through responsiveness to needs and consistent nurturing interactions from primary caregivers.

Interactive language and Early Brain Development from Brain Insights

Talk  ~ The brain makes connections for learning language only from what a child hears. A child needs to hear lots of language throughout the day. Language is learned through direct interaction, not from a television or video.

Nutrition and early brain development from Brain Insights

Safe, Healthy Environment ~ A variety of nutritious foods, a lead free and safe environment for a child to explore contributes to a well developed brain. A brain requires little stress and routines to feel safe and relaxed. Sleep and rest are also necessary to a healthy brain.

Play and Early Brain Development from Brain Insights

Play ~ Play is the way the brain learns about the world. Lots of interaction and exploration help the brain form connections that make later learning easier. Play outdoors additionally impacts brain development in healthy ways.

What a children need most is adults that understand development!

Parents and professionals that are aware and well educated on brain development can provide all that a growing brain needs most. 

Early childhood educators play a vital role in partnering to share in implementing this valuable knowledge. Through working together we can ensure all children receive the experiences that will most positively impact healthy brain connections and success in life for all children!

        We ALL benefit when ALL children have well developed brains! 

Early childhood Brain Development from Brain Insights
BRAIN HERO is a FANTASTIC video that I continuously enjoy sharing! Have you seen it yet? 

The video creatively and effectively shows how the impact of experiences in the early years have an impact throughout life. It is a fun and extremely easy way to clearly communicate why it is critical to invest in and support healthy early brain development! 

 Watch and enjoy Brain Hero!

The video was developed as a collaborative effort between the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and the Center on the Developing Child.
The title is, “Brain Hero”  

With your dedication to quality early education, I thought you would really like seeing and sharing this!!


 For information and loving, fun and interactive brain development activity packets filled with ideas that fit into busy everyday life go to

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