Brains are built over time and are ready for learning from birth

The brain begins to develop in the womb a few weeks after conception. At birth, the brain is about 25% of its size and already contains millions of brain cells called neurons. By age five, it will be 90% of its adult size and will have the same areas as an adult brain.

All people, including infants, learn more easily through specific brain areas and those areas differ from person to person. All of our interactions and experiences stimulate all of these brain areas and all of the areas work together.

Brain connections are strengthened with practice
Brain connections are called synapses. Thousands and thousands of them are formed with everyday experiences. Synapses are important because they send the brain signals that manage the way the body controls thinking, feeling, learning, memory, and language. When your child is exploring or is excited about a toy, his or her brain cells are working away and new connections are being made. Brains make many more connections or synapses than are needed for good brain functioning. Those that are used a lot will be made stronger and stay, while those that are not will fade away in time.

Strengthen your child’s brain development every day
Early emotional and social experiences are important to the development or wiring of the brain. You can strengthen your child’s brain development, help prevent later problems, and expand skills by responding to your child’s needs. The interactions that you provide can reduce stress, build healthy relationships, and support the growth and development of the different areas of the brain. The best way for parents and caregivers to influence brain development is to sing, talk, read, and explain things to the child in a warm, loving environment.

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