Research over the last 30 years has shown that babies and young children who build more connections in the brain as babies and children develop into well rounded and empathetic adults.
New born babies already have 100 billion neurons waiting to connect to each other. These connections are built from the moment we are born, in fact, in all probability, from the womb.
Information is passed from neuron to neuron across synapses. Any synapses that aren’t used will eventually die. As a child reaches the age of 5, 90% of synapses will be formed. This is why it is so important for young children to have as many opportunities for stimulating experiences as possible. It is the most important time for learning how to live and thrive in the world around us.
One of the most advantageous things you can do is to talk to you baby. They listen to everything you say and the more you talk to them, the more they learn. It doesn’t matter what you say either; talk about nuclear science, the latest sport scores or The Gruffalo,
Babies and children who are raised in a loving and caring environment with lots of stimulation will be able to make many more connections in the brain and those connections will be positive.
Those who live in an environment of neglect, uncaring or abuse will make negative connections which are hard to reverse as children mature.
Play is crucial in building these connections.
From their first breath, babies begin to grow physically, socially, mentally and emotionally. They are beginning to develop an understanding of the world around them. They learn to solve problems, become sociable and to develop their creativity and personalities.
Playing gives children opportunities to use all their senses to discover and investigate the world around them. It builds curiosity and an environment in which to experiment as well as being safe to fail. Play helps children to become confident and proactive learners.
Play is the window to the world for children, the more they experience, the bigger the window.