Finally Information on the Early Years is Getting Out in a Big Way!

President Obama’s budget proposal states……

“research has shown that there is a high return
for investments made in high-quality, comprehensive programs supporting disadvantaged children, and their families, from birth. Some studies show that for every dollar invested, there is a $4 to $9 return to society in higher earnings, higher
graduation and employment rates, less crime, decreased need for special education services, less use of the public welfare system, and better health. However, we have yet to make a serious commitment to our youngest learners. We know that a dollar invested in early education will pay off handsomely as these children grow older.”

Read more of the President's budget proposal here
I am so excited to have our president understand and emphasize the importance of the early years! This is something all of us can celebrate!! As President Obama explains we all benefit from providing a positive and enriching environment for our children. Just imagine our country where all children have well developed brains!

The 100 billion brain cells a child is born with make connections based primarily on the environment and experiences early in life. So it is critical that these nurturing and stimulating opportunities are provided for every child. For the past 20 years scientific research has increased our understanding of the physical growth taking place in the brain during the critical early years. One of the goals I have and the reason I started braininsights is to make this common knowledge! Even though there is a long way to go, getting national attention and increased funding toward positive brain development for additional children is a reason to cheer!
Add comments about your excitement or share ideas on ways we can create further awareness!
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"Touching" brain development

Our brains develop primarily through every day experiences we have in our early years! My daughter sent this wonderful clip knowing how much I would enjoy how it provides an example. This event captured on video shows a heartwarming experience impacting this baby's brain.

It shows first of all the natural curiosity the baby has which creates the motivation to move closer to "check out" the item on the floor. The baby then uses touch in addition to vision. This combination creates more learning than just looking at something. This is extremely apparent in this clip.

It is most fun to watch the cause and effect learning that is taking place. The baby sees a reaction happen from touching the dogs foot. The same action is repeated to see if it will create the same result. This is how we learn! And repetition is what creates strong connections between brain cells. How valuable this learning experience is for this baby --- and what fun it is for us to watch it taking place in such a pleasurable way!!
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The Best Valentine's Day Gift for Your Child: Love and Play

Are you trying to decide what special Valentine to give your child? Should you buy the box of chocolates or the candy conversation hearts? This would not be the healthiest choice! Would they really prefer the cute stuffed animal? That may not be the best way to spend your money either!  Instead of these purchased items, you can give your child something they will like and time to play with you. It’s free and you don’t have to deal with the repercussions of a sugar high!

It really is that easy and inexpensive to give your child the best Valentine’s Day present, a parents love and interactive play. This is what a developing brain needs most. A child’s brain grows best from positive experiences in every day life. Incorporating them into daily activities is very simple. Since Valentine’s Day is devoted to letting people know how much we care, it is a great time to give your child the love and play time they will cherish and benefit from for years.

Here are a few special Valentine activities that you can do with your child and a description of how the brain grows with each activity:

0-1 year oldsFuzzy KissesPlay a game with one of those stuffed animals your child already has. Use the animal to give your child a kiss on the belly. Make a kissing sound. Next, you give them a kiss. Continue going back and forth.
A baby’s brain likes patterns. Having a fun loving game make learning fun.

1-2 year oldsHide and Seek with a mirrorHold your child in front of a mirror then turn away. Turn back to the mirror and say, “I love you”. Continue this fun game as long as they stay interested.
Showing you love your child through fun interactions makes connections in the emotional part of the brain. This is very important to develop especially in the early years.

2-3 year olds
Heart Hop
Using several small pieces of masking tape, make the shape of a large heart on the floor. Encourage your child to step on the dots and walk around the heart. Give ideas of different ways they can move: hop, jump, crawl, etc.
Movement activities help get more oxygen to the brain. The brain uses over 20% of the body’s energy, nutrients, and oxygen.

3-4 year oldsFind the HeartsCreate a hide and seek game. Use a deck of cards and hide the Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of hearts somewhere in the room. Have your child find all 5 cards. Next let your child hide them for you to find.
The easiest time for connections the brain needs to learn basic math skills is during the preschool years. Your child learns best while having fun.

4-5 year olds
Count and SortProvide a sorting activity. Give your child various conversation hearts (or various shaped cereal or macaroni) to sort by color (size or shape). Using muffin tins makes sorting easy.
The thinking part of the brain organizes by making associations with things that go together. It helps your child to think about how things are alike.

These ideas are adapted from brain development activity packets. For more activities go to
  Happy Valentines Day!!! 
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Welcome to Early Childhood Brain Insights!

I am so glad you are here!

Do you know that you have the perfect chance to make a difference in the brain development of the children in your life or community? Isn’t it wonderful to know that all of us have that opportunity?

Did you know that 85% of a baby’s brain development will happen after birth? And do you realize that a great deal of the development will happen based on the experiences a child has in the early years?

It is my goal and passion to have everyone understand that experiences early in life have an impact on the developing brain.

The good news is brain development isn’t as complicated as it may sound.

Brain development isn’t about pushing children to learn more at early ages or having the perfect toys. It is about providing fun learning experiences and loving interactions with your child. Doesn’t it feel good when you know that in addition to physical needs, play and loving attention are the experiences a baby’s brain needs most?

Brain development can easily fit into your busy life. You just need to have ideas and information about what to do……… because children do not come with instructions.

It is my genuine hope that from this blog, my website and the materials I have produced I provide you will gain insights about brain development and as a result, experience tremendous joy with the children in your life.
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