Thursday, January 20, 2011

Below are two photos. One of the photos shows a child doing an activity that is providing valuable learning. The other photo shows a child that is having an experience that does not support optimal learning. 



Do you know which photo depicts the way a child’s brain will develop the strongest brain connections?
Information from this article will provide the answer to the question, "Which type of experience is best for growing brains?" 

“Many parents don’t know that the American Academy of Pediatrics has    established guidelines that recommend no televisions, video games, or Internet access in children’s bedrooms; no screen media for children under two; and no more than two hours of educational television a day for children older than two."

"If most parents don’t know the recommendations, they certainly don’t know the reasoning behind them."

“In the first 18 to 24 months of life, the brain is developing rapidly, primarily in response to environmental stimuli,” Strasburger says. “Stimuli that optimize the development of brain architecture include personal interactions, motor skills practice, and problem-solving activities. And the best way to teach these skills is not through screen media.”

So obviously photo #1 shows an activity that is going to lead to learning in the way the developing brain needs most.

Additionally, below are findings that reveal a need for concern. This research was reported on VentureBeat.

"If you were in any doubt that technology is now a fundamental part of kids’ lives, these statistics prove it: 69 percent of children aged 2-5 can use a computer mouse, but only 11 percent can tie their own shoelaces. More young children know how to play a computer game (58 percent) than swim (20 percent) or ride a bike (52 percent). There is no gender divide. Boys and girls under the age of 5 were equally adept at using technology.
These are the results of a study commissioned by Internet security company AVG on how children aged 2-5 interact with technology. 2,200 mothers with Internet access in the USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia and New Zealand were polled."

The results of this study demonstrates the critical need to create wide spread awareness. We need to ensure every adult understands that early experiences directly impacts the way children's brains are wired. It is essential that every child is provided with the opportunities that will impact their development in the most beneficial way. And we KNOW that play and direct interactive experiences are going to have the most positive impact!!  

For ways to promote and provide optimal brain development go to:


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You are so good at showing exactly what is vital to know! Thanks, Deborah

January 20, 2011 at 11:30 AM
Deborah McNelis said...

THANK YOU!!!..... And you are so good at supporting what is vital to know... In addition to all the valuable work you do to also create awareness and understanding!

January 20, 2011 at 11:36 AM
Anonymous said...

While I fully support the notion of keeping technological media to the minimum for the young child, I find these statistics a bit biased. Of course there is a greater percentage of children who know how to use a mouse than the percentage that can tie their own shoelace. The level of dexterity required for each activity is completely different! Technology is designed to be easy and user-friendly (e.g. one hand for using a mouse, one button to turn on the TV) where as life skills (tying shoe lace, using cutlery etc) take time, practice and patience!

January 20, 2011 at 9:30 PM
Deborah McNelis said...

I actually thought the same thing about the comparison of tying shoes, when I read this research. It does take a great deal of fine motor control that some children are not ready for at these young ages.
Thank you for sharing your comment.

January 20, 2011 at 9:44 PM

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