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Supporting Brain Development Thought Experiences

The first five years of a child’s life are the most crucial to brain development and learning. During the early years the brain must be provided with rich stimulation through learning experiences. Experiencing rich knowledge is essential for brain growth. Neurological pathways in the brain, are established through experiences that children undergo at a young age. Since young children are born with the ability and need to learn, they must be provided with many interesting experiences. Challenge children’s minds by asking questions, exposing them to new experiences, provide for them a healthy learning environment, and support their natural eagerness to explore.

Supporting Brain Development Through PLAY Children have a natural curiosity for the world around them. Role-play and imaginative play are great ways to strengthen brain connections. Have the children crawl on the floor and pretend to be lions in an exotic jungle, or dress up as a Chef and work in a restaurant. Through dramatic play, the children are engaged in activities that aid the development of imagination, creativity and thinking skills. During play, the brain is stimulated to its finest level.

Supporting Brain Development Through MUSIC From the very beginning of a child’s life, he is drawn to music. Music helps to increase learning abilities and helps to increase mental focus. Music is a means by which children learn to comprehend sounds and patterns. Allowing a child to be an active part of the musical process will generate a more involved response. Children should be provided with an ample amount of instruments and other music-making devices so that they are able to experience many different forms of music. The use of different beats and tones helps children to develop listening skills. Adding movement to songs is a creative method that teachers can use to help children develop muscle control and movement coordination.

Promoting PHYSICAL Development Physical activity is an essential part to every child’s brain development. Exercise plays an important role in improving attention span and memory in children. Each day, children should be exposed to some form of physical activity. Playing outside, duck-duck-goose, dancing, and jumping rope are all common examples of physical activities that can be incorporated into the daily routine. Physical experience is one of the strongest means by which the young brain makes connections. A child’s gross-motor skills are developed through physical activities and play. Activities that incorporate crawling, jumping, scooting, or spinning aid the development of gross-motor skills and movement coordination.

SENSORY experiences for brain Development Most people learn more, and are able to retain more, through sensory experience. Researchers have recently discovered that certain scents, such as peppermint, lemon, and cinnamon, are responsible for improving attention span and learning. Children should be provided with many opportunities to explore using their senses. Many cognitive skills are strengthened through sensory play. Given the opportunity to try something on their own, children will develop their problem solving and decision making skills. Trial and error through sensory experience is the most effective means of learning in young children.

The brain development of children depends on the opportunities that they are given to play, experience music, partake in physical activities, and their exposure to a variety of sensory stimulation. Children thrive in an environment that is rich with stimuli and experiences that allows connections, called synapses, to form and link the neurons in their brains. Opportunities for imaginative play, musical expression, physical activities, and sensory stimulation provide children with the skills that will not only aid the development of their brain, but will also allow them to be successful in many aspects of their lives. As early childhood professionals, it is our responsibility to ensure that each child is provided with a variety of opportunities that allow for maximum brain development.