Sometimes it can be difficult to picture what’s happening inside a child’s brain as they grow. However, you might be surprised at what you learn by delving into the fascinating science behind childhood development. Children are constantly changing and building new skills, even if we don’t always notice it happening in real time. If you’re considering a career as an early childhood assistant, you’ll be working with young children to support their developmental journey. The more you understand about childhood development, the more equipped you’ll be to assist children and appreciate their growth process.
Read on to discover some interesting facts about childhood development!
1. If You’re Completing Early Childhood Assistant Training, Check Out How a Child’s Brain Grows
From birth until around the age of five, children’s brains experience the greatest period of growth. During this intense time of activity, children develop the ability to see and hear, learn a language, speak, build their executive functioning skills, and more. As their brains grow, children are extremely receptive to absorbing new information, especially from instruction and observation. If you have early childhood assistant training, you can take advantage of this special period in a child’s life by giving children the support they need to succeed in the future.
2. Toddlers Can Understand What You’re Saying Before They Start Talking
Have you ever felt like it was pointless to speak to a baby or a toddler, as they wouldn’t understand the words you were speaking anyway? While it might be surprising, babies and toddlers actually can understand what you’re saying to them! Well, some of it anyway. By the time a child turns one, they can understand around 70 words. Hearing your voice is actually great for a child’s development—so the more you speak, the better!
3. Nature vs Nurture? Genes Don’t Always Have Complete Influence Over a Child’s Development
While there has long been a debate about whether a child’s nature or nurture has the greatest influence over their development, there is evidence to show that it can be a combination of both. A child’s genes and the environment they’re brought up in interact to determine their developmental path. For example, a child may be born particularly intelligent, but what they learn as a young child can also enhance this intelligence. After completing an early childhood assistant program, you can help to nurture children by supporting them with their learning and socialization process.
4. A Two Year Old Has More Brain Connections than an Adult
This one might be shocking to some, but a two year old actually has more than 100 trillion synapses, also called brain connections. This is the highest amount of brain connections that a human being will ever have during their life, as over 50% of these synapses will disappear over time. If you’re working with two year olds, take advantage of their advanced neural capacity and teach them some new skills!
5. Children Don’t Remember Much Before Age Three
Have you ever wondered if a toddler could remember something you’ve told them? The ability to retain memories is actually a skill that most children won’t develop until the age of three. At around three years old, a child’s memory recorder becomes fully operational, enabling them to make memories and connect between them. However, a child’s experiences are still extremely valuable to their development before the age of three…they just might not remember them.
6. Children Develop a Sense of Self During Preschool
Children can begin to separate themselves from the people around them around the time they enter preschool. For example, if a child refers to a snack they’re eating as “mine,” this is a sign that they’re becoming aware of themselves as an individual being. As children develop a sense of self, it’s a great opportunity to teach them the value of sharing with others. Chances are they’ll be more receptive to this concept when they learn it early on.
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