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Brain Building 101

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When it comes to your baby’s brain, there’s new news, and it’s good news. The latest research has shown the first five years are when the brain is growing the fastest — and it’s shaped by every interaction your baby has with you.

New science has revealed that every time you talk and play with your baby, you’re actually sparking new, healthy connections in the brain. It may not seem like much from the outside, but these connections are the vital foundation your baby’s brain will need for the future. So, the more you connect with your little one now, the better your baby will do later on in school and in life.

And the best news of all? You already have everything you need to build a healthy, strong brain in the time you have. No special toys needed, nothing to add to your to do list, and it’s absolutely free (phew!). Thanks to the dedicated neuroscientists and child development experts at Vroom, there are simple things you can do now that will make a big difference in your baby’s future.

The Basics of Brain Building

We tend to connect learning with school, but learning begins at birth. Your little one is already taking in everything you say and do, and using that information to better understand the world. But what, specifically, should you be saying or doing to nurture that growth?

New science is teaching us the key to brain-building is the back and forth moments you have with your child, or what researchers call “serve and return” interactions. Dr. Jack Shonkoff, Vroom advisor and Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, says "Look for your child’s serves (initiating opportunities to interact) and return them (with appropriate responses like smiles, words, pointing, play, cuddles, or conversation).” It’s amazing that something so simple is actually turning your child’s brain on so deeply.

While you’re going about your daily activities together, keep these five brain-building basics in mind:

1. Look: Make eye contact so you and your child are focused on each other.
2. Chat: Even though your baby can’t respond in full words yet, talk about the things you see, hear and do together, narrating what’s happening.
3. Follow: Take your child’s lead by responding to coos, sounds and actions.
4. Stretch: Make each moment bigger by elaborating upon what your child does and says.
5. Take Turns:With sounds, words, faces and actions, go back and forth to create a conversation.
 
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At less than 12 months old, your baby is already communicating — sometimes through babbling sounds and sometimes with words. This is how your baby begins to build language skills!

Try these easy Vroom activities to start welcoming your child into the world of words. While each moment may seem small on its own, together these everyday interactions with your child add up to build the essential foundation your child needs for future learning.

 
 
 
 

 

Introducing Vroom

New science tells us that the first 5 years of life are when our children form the foundation for future learning. Vroom is here to help you make the most of this precious time. By using the moments we already have a bit differently, we can actually build our children's brains - and their futures!
 
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Member comments

great information
This article was helpful to me. I will be making use of all the information I read. Thanks.

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