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Friday, 14 August 2015

Children and their Mammoth Capacities...

Children grow in ways which can be more amazing than we can think of. From the day they are born to a few years then on, the little ones have giant-like capacities at learning. Their natural ability to soak up information and process them is an amazing process in itself and therefore, opens a wide possibility for us to leverage and expose them to boundless knowledge and information that can go a long way in their development.

Neuro-scientists say that an emotionally supportive environment is what works best towards nurturing little, active minds to their full potential. Researchers have found that children who get a higher amount of attention and nurturing at home, had higher IQs.

A large amount of the development of children, therefore depends on the stimulation they find in our hands. Simple stimulating tasks such as reaching out for a toy, drawing a line or even listening to a lullaby help establish neural connections in the little brain. A baby's brain forms a whopping hundred trillion neural connections by age 3. Beyond the age of 6, these neural circuits become active or die, depending on the amount of stimulation that has been received.

I wish I had known these facts before I became a mother.

Last year, my son did a school project jointly with his classmates. They made a Rainforest with chart paper cut-outs of drawings and sketches that they all made themselves. Side by side, they were also taught about the features of a Rainforest, its climate, habitat and surroundings.

Just as their teacher thought that the project had come to an end before the day that it was to be exhibited to parents, my son came up with a question which stumped her off. "You have taught us about a Rainforest and we have made it. But where is the rain?", he asked. This was pretty last minute, but then, his teacher diligently sat down with some kids in the class and together, they traced out rain-drops on a piece of chart paper and cut them out and stuck them on and above the huge paper-tree model that they had all made with its bats and sloth bears and caterpillars and flowers.

"Rainforest" drawing by my 5 year-old toddler

The question sounded very simple to my adult mind at first, but I later realized why it sounded so simple. The name, "Rainforest" itself has the capacity to dig out the visual and sensual elements from our minds - so much so that we tend to forget the visual representation of it because we take the whole thing for granted. But for a toddler's mind, which has no visual or sensual memory or information about a Rainforest other than what he has explored in the explanations of his teacher, a visual representation looked like an absolute must. That he was able to come up with a suggestion that he manufactured totally on his own made me wonder how creative a mind has to be to question something at such a basic level.
It is easy to create things with a hoard of information and memories that have already been gathered. But to come up with something out of nothing, has always been a thing of wonder and amazement in the unending history of creativity.

#neurosciences #childdevelopment #createfromnothing