Brain Building in Progress


The Brain Building in Progress Campaign is a public/private partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and a growing community of early education and child care providers, academic researchers, business leaders and individuals. Our mission is to raise awareness of the critical importance of fostering the cognitive, social and emotional development of young children by emphasizing its future impact on economic development and prosperity for everyone in Massachusetts.  For more information, visit

Science shows how the early interactions and experiences that young children have with caring adults actually build the architecture of the developing brain. By building young minds, we will build the foundation for a lifetime of learning, achievement, and productive, responsible citizenship and a stronger, more prosperous future for everyone in Massachusetts.

All year long, Brain Building in Progress creates awareness of the vital connection between investing in young children and everyone’s future economic prosperity. During Brain Building in Progress Week, we showcase this mission by bringing together families, educators, legislators, and business leaders to celebrate the great work happening in our Commonwealth and the importance of advocating for our youngest citizens.  Whether you share a Brain Building Moment with a young child, read to a class of preschoolers, attend a scheduled event or create your own celebration, there are so many ways to participate. Find it all at

Spring is in full bloom! It’s time to get out of the house and enjoy the sunny, & rainy weather this season brings.

Here are 10 learning activities to help you do just that!

By Shayla McGhee (Georgia Public Broadcasting/NPR)

1. Grow a Garden

We will start with the obvious! Choose a corner in the backyard that receives plenty of sunlight and begin growing a garden. Start small by growing herbs in small pots or fruit in a patio planter. Take your children outside each day to water the plants and explain that plants need sunlight, soil, and water to grow. For older children, you could discuss cause and effect and have them come up with other examples of cause and effect in action. 

2. Create Natural Art

Awaken the inner artist in any child by creating beautiful works of art using pine cones or leaves.

3. Birds, Birds, and More Birds!

Find a cute wooden birdhouse and paint it using bright, funky colors. Hang it in the backyard and watch the birds as they eat. Research the different types of birds that visit. 

4. Spring Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles allow little ones to experiment and make observations in a safe and meaningful way. Form spring sensory bottles using flowers, rocks, and other seasonal items found during walks in the park or neighborhood. Once complete, ask questions that require observation and inspire further inquiry.  

5. Go on a Nature Hunt 

Make a list of objects commonly seen outside and take a nature walk in a local park. Check off different things on the list as you spot them.  

6. Bug Catcher

Get close and personal with insects by creating cute bug catchers. Identify the insect, its diet, and how it helps the environment. Then, safely return it to its natural habitat. 

7. Spring Rain Clouds

With all of the rain we incur during the spring, why not teach kids about the water cycle by concocting a rain cloud?  Grab some shaving cream, a vase full of water, and a few other simple materials and follow the directions at

8. Fly Kites

Take on this challenge from that explains why kites fly and instructs you on how to make your own. Happy flying!

9.Rainbow Experimentation

Hopefully the spring rainfall will bring beautiful, brightly-colored rainbows. If not, this scented rainbow and sensory play activity by Mary Catherine sure will. Not only is this experiment fun, it teaches children about color mixing and chemical reactions.

10. Literacy Hopscotch

Get everyone out of the house and moving while incorporating a little literacy at the same time with this sight word hopscotch game.




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