When It Comes to Brain Building, Don’t Do More. Do Differently!

When It Comes to Brain Building, Don’t Do More. Do Differently!

To become a brain builder, all you have to do is approach the everyday in a different way.


To become a brain builder, all you have to do is approach the everyday in a different way.

So while we may connect brain building with school, it actually begins at birth! Your little one is already taking in everything you say and do, and using that information to better understand the world. But what, specifically, should you be saying or doing to nurture that growth?

New science is teaching us the key to brain building is the back and forth moments you have with your child, or what researchers call “serve and return” interactions. Dr. Jack Shonkoff, Vroom advisor and Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, says "Look for your child’s serves (initiating opportunities to interact) and return them (with appropriate responses like smiles, words, pointing, play, cuddles, or conversation).” It’s amazing that something so simple is actually turning your child’s brain on so deeply.

While you’re going about your daily activities together, keep these five Brain Building Basics in mind:

LOOK
Even before babies can talk, they’re showing you what they’re interested in. Look into their eyes, or at what catches their eye, and begin brain building!

FOLLOW
Powerful brain building moments are created when you let children lead the way, and you follow by responding to their words, sounds, actions and ideas.

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CHAT
It may not seem like it, but the sounds and gestures young children make are their way of communicating with you! So talk out loud together and keep chatting as your children grow, engaging them in learning about the world around them.

TAKE TURNS
Back and forth interactions between you and your children are one of the most important ways to help their brains develop. So be sure to take turns while you’re talking, playing, or exploring with your children.

STRETCH
Make the moment last longer by building on what your child says, or asking follow-up questions that expand your child’s thinking and learning. When you stretch the conversation with questions like, “What do you think about that?” or “How does that make you feel?” you’re stretching the brain building moment too!

See? Brain building is easy! Keep these basics in the back of your mind, and you’ll realize soon find that any moment can be a brain building moment!

Ready to give it a try with your child?

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