Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/15005
Title: Parents, Playgroups & Physiology: The Importance of the Early Years of Life
Contributor(s): Sims, Margaret  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2013
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/15005
Abstract: The world is beginning to realise that the early years of life are very important. We now know that children's experiences in their first few years of life shape the way their brain develops . When young children experience something again and again (for example when they hear particular sounds) the brain pathways used in processing that information are reinforced. A child who is surrounded in a rich language environment will develop complex brain mechanisms for processing language. A child who is surrounded with challenging play experiences will develop complex problem solving brain mechanisms. Conversely, children who grow up in settings where they do not experience thought provoking learning opportunities will not develop the complex brain mechanisms necessary for them to participate equally in society as they mature. The old saying "use it or lose it" applies to young children's development. If children do not have certain opportunities they lose the brain mechanisms to manage such experiences later in life. For example, children who are born into a family who only speak one language gradually lose the ability to perceive and produce sounds that are NOT in their home language so that when, as adults, they try to learn a second language they are disadvantaged and unable to speak without an accent. Children growing up in disadvantaged poor health and wellbeing in adulthood. Forcing children to engage in repetitive practice may help produce a 'winner' but at the cost of higher stress levels and poorer health and wellbeing. Ideally we want children to experience rich learning opportunities in a context of low stress: and this is exactly what play offers.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: 40 years of Playgroup: Celebrating Our Story of Connecting Communities, p. 42-44
Publisher: Playgroup Australia
Place of Publication: Canberra, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl Maori)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 940105 Childrens/Youth Services and Childcare
HERDC Category Description: B2 Chapter in a Book - Other
Other Links: http://playgroupaustralia.org.au/Documents/PG-40-Years-A4-Booklet-V3a.aspx
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Education

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