Did you know that the connections in a child’s brain build over time through experiences? Children learn through their experiences and their relationships. Harvard Center for Developing Children reports that more than 1 million new neuron connections form every second. We can strengthen the connections in the brain by making those pathways stronger. Children need to explore and interact with the world. Early childhood experiences are the foundation for future skills. Think about it like building a house. The foundation ensures the house will support the structure. One of the ways we strengthen the foundation is through serve and return interactions as described by the Harvard Center for Developing Children.
Last year, a video of a dad and his infant son talking became popular on social media. This interaction showed the potential of a developing brain. Watch for the steps below in this adorable video.
There are 5 easy steps to practice serve and return.
- Notice the serve and share the child’s focus on attention
- Return the serve by supporting and encouraging
- Give it a name
- Take turns…and wait. Keep the interaction going back and forth
- Practice endings and beginnings
Guest Blogger: Beth Garza, Wayne RESA Early Childhood Consultant for the Great Start Readiness Program
Great Start Readiness Program is a Michigan state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children with factors which may place them at risk of educational failure. The program is administered by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start. Funding is allocated to Wayne RESA to administer the program locally.
These blogs were developed and funded under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.
Research on preschool programs and specific research on GSRP indicates that children provided with a high-quality preschool experience show significant positive developmental differences when compared to children from the same backgrounds who did not attend a high-quality preschool program.