Your child’s experiences in the early years of life will shape his or her brain development and influence his/her future social, emotional and intellectual development.
Babies begin learning as soon as they are born. At birth, your baby’s brain has almost all of its brain cells, but the brain hasn’t fully developed at this time.
The cells in a baby’s brain will begin to connect with each other and form pathways in the brain. The way these cells connect depends on baby’s experiences – interacting with others, stimulating senses, singing, reading, active play etc.
In the first few years of life these cells develop vital connections in the brain that influence children’s emotional, social and intellectual development. Brain development will continue throughout life, but not to the same extent that it occurs in the first three years.
The first years of a child’s life sets the pattern for their future mental and physical health and behavioral development.
Every experience excites certain parts of the brain and leaves others inactive. Positive experiences children have, such as being hugged or played with consistently turn on and strengthen those parts of the brain.
Children who have these positive experiences are are more likely to feel safe and comfortable in new settings and be confident to take on new challenges. Similarly, positive experiences strengthen the connections for talking, learning, exploring, thinking and all the other things children will need.
Read some supporting research.