Did you know attending preschool can help your child with brain development? It’s helpful to have a baseline understanding of what’s going on in your child’s brain as they grow. We’ve compiled a quick and easy guide to your child’s brain development. This will help you better understand what’s happening as they grow and how preschool can help their brains develop.
The Science Behind the Brain
Our brains are made up of neurons and the connections between them called synapses. It’s these connections that are what make parts of the brain function. The stronger the connections, the more effective a person is in that area. It’s important to note that, when a connection is used repeatedly, it gets stronger. If a connection is not used, it eventually fades. The brain changes and adapts as a child has new experiences.
In the preschool years, children’s brain cell connections change rapidly. This is why a child will learn a new skill quicker than an adult. Preschool activities are the perfect way for children to develop and strengthen connections in the brain. Not only can they learn things like colors and shapes, but they can also learn social skills like sharing and communication.
Parts of the Brain
If it’s been a while since you’ve studied the different parts of the brain, let us catch you up. There are three main parts of the brain: the stem, the cerebellum, and the cerebrum. Each part of the brain serves a different purpose. The brain stem controls reflexes and involuntary processes like breathing and heart rate. The cerebellum is involved in balance and coordination.
The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain, containing higher processes like memory and learning. As we grow older, it also houses the most advanced activities, such as planning and decision-making. Preschool activities aid in brain development by giving kids opportunities to use a variety of brain functions.
Skills from the Brain
When it comes to brain development, skills fall into two main categories. The first category is skills for living and survival. The second category is skills for emotions and thoughts that make up our personality, learning styles, and communication.
Early education assists in the development of many social, emotional, intellectual, language, and motor skills. Fight or flight is one survival skill that preschoolers develop. They also develop cognitive skills, such as social bonding and response to stress. Toddlers express their needs and reactions in the form of feelings. These skills can develop at school to a different degree than they can at home.
The Stages of Brain Growth
What does brain development look like as our children grow through their early childhood years? Though it is complex, it can be broken down into a few key stages. Each stage has different needs that demand different things from the child’s environment.
The first stage is the infant stage, where there is a lot more reacting to and copycatting their environment. This stage lasts from infancy to one year of age. The second stage is the toddler stage, which is what we like to deem the “terrible twos.” This is because children begin thinking more independently. The third stage is from two years until Kindergarten, where curiosity is the marker of development. Questions are asked and answers are sought out, providing a great opportunity to begin their education.
Overall, we hope that this overview of brain development helps you understand more about your child. We also hope you’ll consider the many benefits early education can have to your child’s intelligence. If you’re looking for a caring environment where your child can learn and grow, we’d love for you to learn more about Connection Point Early Learning Center.