As a parent you’ve probably heard that the first five years of life are so important for your child’s long-term health and wellbeing.
In these years, children cultivate an understanding of language and communication, learn the foundations of building relationships and establish neurological pathways essential for cognitive and physical development.
Many of these developments happen naturally–in the home and in the parent-child relationship. But with increased psychological and neurological research, we now know more about to keep children on track for success.
The brain development that happens in the first five years has a lifelong impact. Researchers estimate that 90% of the brain is fully developed before the age of 5. A baby is born with all the neurons she will have for her entire life but it’s the synapses that connect those neurons that will actually make her brain function. During these young years, synapses form at an incredible 1 million per second, which is far greater than at any other time over the course of a lifetime. By age 2, a child has more than 1 trillion synapses.
Language and Communication
The first three years of a child’s life are crucial for developing speech and language skills. Your child will acquire and master these skills best when exposed to a variety of sounds, voices and language. These years are critical for a child’s brain to absorb the nuances of speech and sound. If these skills aren’t learned, they are more difficult to learn later in life.
Social and Emotional Development
Regulating and expressing emotions, sharing and communicating with others, developing relationships and listening and following directions is all rooted in the early years. For most young children, social and emotional development happens naturally when they are in a nurturing, stress-free environment. When exposed to abuse or neglect, many children risk developmental delays and potential mental health issues later in life.
One of the best ways to aid your child in emotional development is to help him identify and talk about his feelings. This can create emotional intelligence and resilience that can help him manage emotions and stress in any situation.
The eating habits that your child develops early on can have an impact on their entire life. As kids are growing rapidly, both mentally and physically, they need the right kind of fuel to support that growth. Establishing a healthy diet of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and grains helps them get the essential nutrients needed for optimal growth support but also builds healthy eating habits they’ll take into adulthood.
Active kids are typically happier kids. Physical activity helps to build strong bones and muscles, improves heart health, controls weight and reduces anxiety and stress. That’s true for children as well as adolescents and adults. Instilling a love of outdoor adventures and physical activity at a young age increases the chances that those activities will carry over into adulthood.
How School for Amazing Kids Helps
When engrossed in specialized curriculum, like the Learn-At-Play™ program we implement at School for Amazing Kids, your child has the opportunity to grow in these areas and more. We also conduct personalized development assessments every other month for each child in our care. These Ready for Life assessments help keep children on track and parents aware of any potential developmental delays.
To find out more about how we infuse learning into play, read about our teaching philosophy here or schedule a tour of a school today.