Written by Dr Tessa Grigg and Bindy Cummings
When your beautiful baby came into the world we are sure you were not thinking about your new role as a teacher. But that is in fact what every parent is: the first teacher your child will know and learn from, and you will be the teacher they know best! So, as your child’s first teacher, we encourage you to take very good care of yourself so that you are able to focus on this all-important job.
Initially with a very young baby the teaching is easy. Everything you do with your baby is a learning experience. Every touch, every hug, every bath, every smile, every word, every feed, every nappy change, every everything……. But as they grow there are things we can intentionally provide for a baby, and this is where it gets interesting.
You may know that activities like Tummy Time and ‘crawl before you walk’ are extremely important in your baby’s first year (and beyond), but did you know that babies who have the right early movement experiences in their first year have better coordination, concentration, memory, behaviour and perception as they get older? It’s pretty important information!
Fortunately, there are some fantastic programs that help parents ensure their babies are getting the right stimulation at the right time. We understand that not everyone has access to a GymbaROO- KindyROO centre so we have developed a fantastic online series for parents of babies called Active Babies Smart Kids Series. The first Tummy Time session is free right now so enjoy that and gather useful information about what you can do to extend that all important Tummy Time. In the next few weeks other sessions will be available free or at a heavily discounted rate, such is our concern about the impact this COVID-19 environment is having on the development of our babies. We want everyone to be able to access this important information.
This series comes highly recommended by paediatricians, doctors, early childhood experts and the Maternal Child and Family Health Nurses Association of Australia. The series has been adapted by Dr Jane Williams and Bindy Cummings from GymbaROO’s highly acclaimed neuro-developmental programs.
You can find it here: http://activebabiessmartkids.com.au/
The 12-part online video series explains to parents exactly what to do with their babies, (newborn to 9 months), to give them the best start and the correct stimulation to lay down the foundations for later learning.
Dr Jane Williams, one of Australia’s leading child development experts and CEO of GymbaROO-KindyROO says that the correct stimulation for babies influences how well they behave, read and learn when they reach school. “It is well researched that during these earliest years of life much of the essential wiring linked to learning is laid down,” she says.
What is not well known is just how much of a dramatic influence parents can have over the number of neural connections made by their babies and the resulting strength of their foundations for learning,” she says.
“There is an exciting and enormous amount of brain growth that can go on in this earliest year if babies are given the learning opportunities and the opportunity to use their brain.”
The videos are full important information, specialist advice and hundreds of ideas for fun and loving activities that help build key brain pathways for later learning.
The series is designed so that mums and dads can join in and do the activities with their baby from birth, in the comfort of their own homes; perfect in these times of reduced movement in the community. It is based on fun and learning together with joy and happiness.
These activities include: tummy time activities, baby exercises, dances to music, baby massage, activities to help with visual development, hearing and speech, baby balance, rhythm and music and much more.
“Babies who have the right early movement experiences in their first year have better coordination, concentration, memory, behaviour and perception as they get older,” says Dr Williams. “In addition, they have improved confidence, communication and socialisation skills,” she says.
“We believe that every parent has right and the need to have access to this important information. We also strongly believe that every child deserves the right to be able learn easily and successfully.”
“We know that parents are a child’s first, most important and best teachers and that they play a crucial role in the early years. Well-informed parents make more confident parents. This is why we made the series.”
So, if you want to be your baby’s best first teacher, let us help guide you. We view it as a partnership and hope that you can learn from our research and experience.