26 Jun 2012 No Comments
by Lisa Dalesandro, author of the book “Raise a Reader:25 Effective Things to Get Kids Reading.“
Did you know that in the first five years of a child’s life, their brain can develop 700 neural connections a second. That would add up to 42,000 connections a minute.
I don’t know about you but I find that to be truly amazing and somewhat miraculous. The power and potential of the human brain never fails to disappoint.
According to Dr. Jack Shonkoff, a pediatrician at Harvard University who ran this study, children who lack a healthy home and stimulating environment don’t develop as many connections as other children. They also don’t do as well in school, and eventually are unable to function as well when they become adults.
Worst off are children surrounded by “toxic stress” caused by factors like extreme poverty, violence, substance abuse or even a parent who suffers from depression. These kids are almost certain to have problems in school, Shonkoff said.
This data underscores just how important it is to read to your kids when they’re little, as well as providing them with plenty of board books, art materials and just plain old fashion playtime.
Do it for the little ones — their developing brains are counting on you.