What research is saying about brain development in young children ages 0-3
- Children come into this world as learners and scientists ready to learn about their world.
- When children are born they typically have all the neurons in their brain that they will have; what they don’t have is the set amount of synapses. The synapses are what allows the neurons to communicate with each other.
- During the age range of 0-3, children have twice as many synapses as they will have in their adulthood.
- Synapses are formed at a faster rate typically during the ages from 0-3 than at any other time.
- The more stimulation the brain receives the more synapses the brain creates during these early years, which in turn creates their foundation for future learning.
- The more the synapses are used the stronger they will become. The synapses that are not used become weak and are likely to be eliminated in a process called “pruning.”
- Because the brain has such an excess of synapses in the first 3 years- the brain is extremely sensitive to any stimulation or experiences.
What do we know about brain development within each year?
- Infants’ brains are growing at an amazing rate.
- Their senses develop and become stronger.
- They develop the power of recognition.
- The brain becomes “wired” for their home language.
- Dramatic changes began to occur in language areas.
- The brain begins to develop the ability to perform more complex tasks, and higher order cognitive abilities such as self-awareness, emotional, and intentions.
- Synapses development reaches its peak.
- Synapses continue to strengthen based on their experiences.
- Their brains continue to strengthen their cognitive abilities and understanding of cause and effect.
What will Fundamentals do to help with brain development in these early years?
- Create and establish positive, healthy, and loving relationships so that each little learner may thrive and grow.
- Provide low ratios so that each child may have individualized experiences and language on a daily basis.
- Follow patterns of brain development to ensure each learning environment is set up to be a learning and stimulating place for each child.
- Provide a language rich environment in all programs- ex. include helping children to hear vocabulary, distinguish between sounds, and partaking in conversations.
- Encourage child directed experiences through play, and hands-on activities in order to create an environment for optimal learning.
- See website section on Reggio Emilia Approach, Conscious Discipline, and Portfolios/Documentation to see what are environment will be like.
Links we Love:
Information From: Early Childhood and Brain Development Training attended in 2010, and the above websites.