Brain Building in Progress

Research confirms what many have known for a long time; that positive interaction is essential between children and the adults who care for them. Every time we connect with children, it’s not just their eyes that light up—it’s their brains too. Positive experiences with adults strengthen the connections that a child builds up and help children to be eager, engaged, and ready for a lifetime of learning. This is called brain building, which doesn’t require extra money or extra resources.

So, how can you help your children have productive interactions? Parents are their child’s first teacher, and that learning continues through the summer months. Brain Building does not have to take place in a school, a museum, or even by reading.   The events that happen each day can teach so much. If we make something fun, they have fun too, and you might even get some work done.

Laundry is a task that never ends when you have children. They can help you sort the laundry before it is washed and sort socks, shirts, etc. before folding and putting them away. This time together can teach colors, math, responsibility, and the importance of family time. They may not fold the way you would, but if you must, refold clothes once they are in bed.

When taking children to the grocery store, share what you need to buy and have them hold you to that list. Sort items in the cart by color, size, or sometimes by food group. Talk about why you are buying something and what you will use it for. The conversations are priceless, and you will spend less money.

When going on a walk, hike or to the park, take a magnifying glass, binoculars, and a bag for the treasures you find.   Don’t just smell the flowers but look at them through the magnifying glass. What can you hear? Birds, a fire engine, a plane; talk about where they are or maybe a story about where they are going.   All these interactions build their speech, imagination and problem solving skills, while building their confidence by letting them help you.

Being a parent, grandparent or caregiver will allow you to once again watch the world through a child’s eyes. Their innocence and joy at the simplest things like making a tent out of whatever you find in the closet builds their brains and will warm your heart.    

Happy Brain Building





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