I just discovered a new organization that you will all want to know about: Vroom!
Vroom provides parents with support and specifics (in English and Spanish) on how to stimulate their child’s brain during every day activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, and playing. They have a beautiful and encouraging 2 minute video directed to parents called: “Everyone has what it takes”. Watch it, you might even well up a little. I did!
Access to the Vroom website and information is totally free. Their program and commitment to encouraging and showing parents how to be “brain builders” in all their interactions with their children deeply warmed my heart. They do for parents what we at Move with Me ™ are working to provide for educators – and in a truly fun and mindful way.
Because the brain grows to 92% of its adult size in the first 5 years of life, it is the family that has the most influence in any child’s development. While genes make up the brain’s blueprint, experiences and interactions with care-givers are the building blocks of its architecture. With this in mind, the Vroom approach is based on three principles that apply just as much at home as at school:
Positive adult-child interactions lay the foundation for strong, resilient brains and are essential to healthy, optimal development, which can only happen within caring, consistent, supportive relationships.
Extended and stimulating adult-child interactions that go back and forth multiple times like a conversation, involve sustained eye contact, observations, questions and explorations inspire complex thinking and build the brain’s capacity to learn.
Modeling of life skills and reinforcement of executive functions, which can be integrated into daily activities and grow a child’s ability to focus, self-regulate, and manage impulses.
Their five basic brain builders include what all early childhood educators do to engage and support learning:
- Make eye contact – be present and responsive
- Chat – name and discuss what is happening in a developmentally appropriate way
- Follow – pick up on what the child offers and ask questions
- Stretch – build on and extend what the child says and does
- Take Turns – go back and forth playfully with words, sounds, movements, etc.