The way our brain forms is much like a home. Over time, they are built from the foundation up. From before birth, and into adulthood, every experience shapes the architecture of our brain. Without a strong foundation, it is hard to build a home. As we age, it becomes harder to change the framework of our minds. Did you know, in the first few years of life, over 1 million new neural connections grow each second!? This is more than any other time of our lives! There is also an order in which our brains develop - first basic functions such as vision and hearing, then early language skills, then more advanced cognitive functions follow. The first five years are critical in building safe, nurturing environments for children to have caring, respectful relationships with the adults in their lives.
What we call "play" is truly much more... It is creating that stable foundation that will allow our children to grow upon as they age, into adulthood. Even tantrums are vital to our development! As a mother, this is one thing that helped me utilize what many call "negative behavior" as a teaching moment. It helped decrease the stress I felt... Instead of increasing my tone, or getting frustrated, I started to get excited when failure, tantrums, and frustration occurred. This meant I got to help shape and mold all future behavior - This also meant how I reacted was even more important than I ever imagined!
Little things like reading a book, making eye contact, eating breakfast, humming a song, and playing peek-a-boo are all vital to development. This is one major reason we encourage adult participation in our museum. We absolutely love seeing all the learning and growing through play! Our time with our children is so short, yet will make the most impact - I hope this helps, and serves as a reminder that even in all of those tough, stressful times... there is magic happening.
Blog by Jordin Breaud