Research into the complex nerve connections of the developing brain has exploded in the last 20 years, and one conclusion is clear: From Day 1, every day counts.
We know that children who from birth have parents and family members who talked to their baby, and responded immediately to every cue made by that child, have far more developed brains at even one year of age than children who didn’t get that kind of stimulation.
This is why I was so excited yesterday when, at a conference about teen moms and their babies, I heard about an App designed to help parents of children birth to 5 years encourage their baby’s brains: Daily Vroom. This is a FREE app!
I took the time to go to the joinvroom.org website, and was amazed to learn that this app is the product of an amazing collaboration between multiple foundations and other funding sources (Like the Bezos Foundation, formed by Jeff Bezos of Amazon), and dozens of neuroscientists and experts on child development.
It’s crazy easy to use: You simply enter the first names and dates of birth of each of your children ages birth to 5 years. The program then daily gives, for each child listed, an age appropriate activity for that child.
To experiment, I changed the years my children Emily (born in 1986), Michael (Born in 1988) and Hannah (Born in 1989), to make them 4 years, 2 years and 2 months respectively. Shazam! I learned that for my 2-month-old Hannah, I should be singing to her as I do the laundry, describing what I’m doing: putting in detergent, closing the door, folding the clothes. Then, I’m supposed to watch Hannah (her name is used repeatedly in the instructions!), and copy the sounds she makes.
Finally, after these instructions, is a section called “Brainy Background,” which explains WHY you just made a fool of yourself. For this “singing laundry” exercise, it says, “When Hannah hears new sounds and sees you respond to the sounds she makes, she is focused and engaged. When Hannah is focused and engaged, she is learning new words and sounds that will help her to learn to talk and read in the future.”
If you like incentives, touch the “We Did It” button at the end of the discussion, and you’ll earn a little reward. I just earned a “First Timer Badge!” Have fun!