The First Five Years

We grow as we learn especially in our younger years when we are constantly experiencing this great big world. But, just how important were those years? Were there some years that are more valuable than others? Well in Molly Wright’s TED Talk, “How every child can thrive by five” she argues that a child’s first five years are critical for their brain’s healthy development.

A healthy newborn baby’s brain will nearly double in volume by the time they turn one year old and by the time they turn five years old their brain is almost the same volume as an adult brain. This leads us to believe that during those first five years is when our brains grow bigger and stronger than any other part of our life. During this time a child needs five crucial things: connecting, talking, playing, a healthy home, and community. How can you make an impact in a child’s life? Easy! Serve and return. Meaning connect, talk, and play with them often with simple games like Peekaboo, naming games, and copycat games. These games help build strong relationships, connections, vocabulary, attention, and more! Providing these things to a child early and often will build a strong foundation for a child to build their life on. So always remember that a child’s most important time for their development is their first five years, constantly serve and return, and be sure to do it early and often.

Published by michelle perry

I was a public school teacher and administrator in the state of New Mexico for 25 years. Currently, I am employed as an administrator in higher education and am enrolled in a PhD program in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on learning technologies.

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