Did you know that brain development begins about five weeks after conception and continues throughout your life? At birth, a baby will have roughly 100 billion neurons, give or take a couple.
Newborns start right out with rapid brain growth, making trillions of connections in all parts of the brain, with hearing and vision occurring particularly rapidly. Makes sense given how valuable all of our senses are, and how necessary stimulation becomes for even a brand new baby.
Consider this: An infant has brain connections that allow him or her to hear languages from all over the world! During these important early years, exposure to multiple languages strengthens connections to these sounds while those that are unused are essentially stripped away. This makes activities such as Spanish Language Classes even more valuable.
It doesn’t end there. In the first four years of life, the brain increases to 80% of its adult weight. Again, connections that experience repeated stimulation and use are strengthened and become even more complex. Connections that are not used are eventually pruned away by our brain.
Activities such as learning to become comfortable with computers have been shown to induce greater developmental gains in 3 and 4-year-old children who have been exposed to such technology. Likewise, these children show better nonverbal skills, structural knowledge, long term memory, manual dexterity, verbal skills, problem solving, abstraction, and conceptual skills. Our Discovery Kids Puterbugs Technology Classes can help build these skills in your child.
What about music? What parent does not resort to a lullaby when they are trying to soothe a crying infant? Research has shown that premature babies who were exposed to lullabies for 40 minutes a day for four days gained more weight and had lower blood pressure and a stronger heartbeat than those who were not exposed to music. While research highlighting the benefits of musical education continues to be developed, it is evident that in addition to increased self-esteem gained from a sense of accomplishment, children who take music lessons also have increased capacity to grasp concepts that are essential for learning math and science. Our Musikgarten Music Education classes are designed to tap into your child’s innate love of music and learning.
Finally, even our president has been inspired to address the needs of our little ones. The Obama Administration has invested more than $600 million in the Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC), a new competition that challenges states to transform their early learning systems with better coordination, clearer learning standards, and meaningful education and training for early educators. Programs such as Science 4 Kids can help your own child “race to the top.”
As you plan out activities for your children, consider their cognitive needs, as well as their physical ones. If you want to secure a successful foundation for your child’s future, consider the programs offered at World of Enrichment. We have educational programs developmentally designed for early learners from newborn on up. Take advantage of them while you can.