The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Building your baby's brain - one connection at a time!

Did you know that between the sixth week and fifth month of a mother's pregnancy, the baby's brain grows about 100 billion cells? Some of these cells are connected at birth, but most are not.

During the first five years of life (and afterwards too but a lot slower) the child's brain is hard at work connecting all those brain cells. By the age of three the child has all the connections it will ever need. From age three on the brain actually gets rid of connections it doesn't need or use! Do you see why the window of opportunity is so important?

I am asking a favor from every person who reads this post.

I am asking all of you to skim through this list , and choose one activity. Please think of someone you know that is under 5 years of age do one of these simple activities with them OR e-mail this to someone you love and ask them to do it FOR you.

Then, last but not least, please return to this forum and under the comment section leave a very short sentence telling us how you "connected" with your child, grandchild, niece, nephew or neighbor.

Tell everyone you know about this and let's see if we can generate some community "buzz" for the Dekko Foundations Before5 program.

Here are additional links provided by the Dekko foundation on child development.

Every day for a week or so I will bring this post back to the top to draw attention to it. Let's see if we can get a few hundred posts up by next weekend.

Our children deserve the best we can give them.


Anonymous said...

I "danced" to radio music with our boys when they were babies. This summer I danced with one of them again at his wedding.

Dr. Mark J. Stock said...

My wife and I found a nice book of children's Bible stories that we read to our children every night. While they are past that age by a long shot now, maybe our grandchildren will inherit the book!

Anonymous said...

I believe it is number 42 on the list. I used to ask my children a quick poem.
Gabriel, Gabriel, what do you say? What did you like best today?
Just insert your child's name. A good way to start some sharing time.

Anonymous said...

Number 25 "Saying please and thank you." Sometimes I think politeness is a lost art.

Ellen Stevens said...

Ever since my granddaughter was old enough to sit on the kitchen cabinet with me we have cooked together. Now that she is in first grade, we talk about the math, the reading of recipes, etc. Her four year old brother now counts with us, measures, mixes, etc. It is so easy to infuse educational tips at all ages in the kitchen. Tremendous bonding activity for the family!

Lisa Church said...

What a great list! Being a new mom I am trying to do as many things as possible to stimulate my young man's development. I'm really trying hard to get him around to see all of my family and hopefully he will begin to connect with each of them as well! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Before Hannah was born, I used to hold a wind-up stuffed teddy bear that played a lullabye to my growing tummy. After she was born and was fussy in the hospital, we wound up the teddy bear, and she calmed down immediately upon hearing the familiar song.

Anonymous said...

Their are other windows of opportunity for the human brain. The window of opportunity for learning a second language is ages 3 - 10. Hmmm ... why do we not start offering foreign language until High School?

h2onut said...

We have been doing most of these things since my son was born or before. Much of it seems to be common sense. Many of these things don't take any extra time. My husband swears we wouldn't have done half of the stuff if I didn't have a background in education. He simply would not have known anything about "window of opportunity." A list similar to this was sent home with us from the hospital. My guess is some parents didn't read it or have forgotten about it. How do we better educate parents on "window of opportunity?" I don't think doing these things is going to ensure that my son will get a full ride to Harvard, however, I do think it will help him become a well rounded person. Plus it simply brings our relationship closer.

Anonymous said...

We take lots of walks with my 2 y/o and newborn. We talk about everything while walking. Colors of the cars, numbers, description of trees, animals, sounds, etc.. At home, we regularly sing, dance and rock in the chair. Rocking motion is good for brain development. I am a supporter of attachment parenting too. When the baby cries, it gets held. I think it is important to tell a child at an early age, through parental actions, they are important. Human voice and touch is so critical in teaching children empathy (Hugs and vocal play). Also, violent television or relationships are extremely damaging to young minds. Making your home violence free is one of the best things you can ever do for your child.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

When my children were toddlers there were no videos in cars to "babysit" your child while you drove. We talked, sang songs and played games like name the body part, what color is that, and what a cow, etc. says. They never got fussy in the car and always sat in their car seats without complaint. Now that they are teenagers, a drive in the car means a conversation where they are comfortable discussing anything with us. I feel that this is very valuable to have with teenagers. The parents with the videos in their cars are missing out on an important opportunity to really get to know their kids before they are shut out in the teenage years.