When our Kid Aviraj was very young (about 3 months old), we did not precisely know how to nurture his inherent abilities, develop his babbling, gestural or facial expressions, and how to Incite the Love for Learning, Communication and other 21st Century & Life Skills’ Development in him. Hence, me and my wife started hunting (literally) about the Science and Research behind Early Childhood Learning and Early Brain Development. We bought subscriptions of a few platforms available in the market (back then around September 2020 and thereafter) which were spreading awareness about the ‘Why first 3 years of a child’s life are the most crucial years of their life’. And to our surprise, we came across a few platforms and toy companies in India which promoted the idea of “Same Learning Materials/Toys for all children between the age-group of 0 to 2 years, which sounded unrealistic at that time”, which Parents have been using for quite sometime now without having the right knowledge about the same.
This reality and our own curiosity & intention of giving our own kid the best early learning opportunities to promote his growth and development starting from his early months, triggered us to question ourselves – Can just having fancy looking/expensive materials or developmental toys around our Kid Incite him (or such a young baby) to gain the best learning/output from them, unless a Parent or a Caretaker has the right information about effectively using these materials with their Kids and that they spend Quality Time that is required with each material.
All of this and my own Brand Consultancy/Advisory journey & experience of helping ‘Kids and Infant Care Brands’ deliver the right message to their audiences (majorly Parents and Child-Minded people), is what triggered me to deep dive into this domain of “Early Brain Development and Ways of Early Skills Development in Infants and Toddlers’, and I started researching and going through reading a lot of studies and articles w.r.t.- the various concepts established over decades of neuroscience, importance of early learning for Infants and Toddlers, and child psychology in early years. The Key Areas of Research were :
1). Center on the Developing Child at the HARVARD UNIVERSITY and the ‘National Scientific Council on the Developing Child’ – that illustrates ‘Why Is Early Childhood Learning Important, How does it happen, it’s Benefits, and What Can Parents and their Families Do to Support their Development from Birth?’
2). UNICEF for every Child
3). MONTESSORI LEARNING AT HOME
4). WALDORF LEARNING AT HOME
Amongst other key scientific and research-based facts, we found that :-
ⓘ 85% of brain development happens during the first 2 precious years of one’s life, after which neurons (nerve cells that receive information) are reduced through a process called pruning.
ⓘ Newborns and Infants naturally reach out for interaction through babbling, facial expressions, and gestures, and expect adults to respond with the same kind of vocalizing and gesturing back at them. In the absence of such responses, or if the responses are unreliable or inappropriate — their brain’s architecture does not form as expected, which can lead to disparities in long-term learning and behaviour of babies.
ⓘ Early childhood experiences affect not only early learning and school readiness, but also lifelong health of our children.