Did You Know? Brain Size by Age 3 & 5
The Lasting Impact of Your Keiki's First Teacher
In order to understand how the brain develops, we first need to know the basics of brain anatomy...
The working units within the brain are called neurons
Neurons communicate with each other at sites called synapses
The communications made between neurons at the synapses are the basis of learning and memory (1)
At birth, your baby has almost all the neurons they’ll ever have in their life. But while the size of their brain increases in the first five years, the number of neurons actually decrease. The best way to describe how this happens is the “use it or lose it” rule. The synaptic connections that are used get stronger while those that aren’t become weakened and ultimately eliminated (“synaptic pruning”). This process of which connections are strengthened or pruned is determined by how your keiki is cared for, stimulated and interacted with. (2)
As your keiki’s first teacher, your role has long lasting effects. Research has shown that keiki who grow up in responsive, safe and loving environments tend to go on to live healthy and successful lives. The opposite is also true, where children who are neglected and experience trauma tend to have more negative outcomes. (3)
So if your goal for your keiki is to be happy, healthy and reach their full potential, you’re in the right place because we want that too! As we continue on our journey to support you as your child’s first teacher, we hope to help you feel empowered and ready to take on strengthening the synaptic connections within keiki’s brain!
1) "Brain Neurons and Synapses", The Human Memory; "Baby's Brains Begin Now: Conception to Age 3", The Urban Learning Institute.
2)"10 Amazing Facts about the Infant Brain", Mental Floss; "What is Synaptic Pruning?" Healthline; "Brain Development in Children - The Early Years", Parenting for Brain.
3) "Early Childhood Brain Development Has Long Lasting Impact", Arizona PBS.