Activities to help develop a baby's brain coming to Kent children centres and baby hubs
Look, say, sing and play.
That's the advice to parents as part of a new campaign which aims to show families how they can develop their babies' brains.
And to support the NSPCC's new message about how best can parents interact with their offspring - even the smallest newborns - Look, Say, Sing, Play activity sessions are coming to 87 children centres and 12 baby hubs in Kent.
The new campaign aims to build on the interaction parents already have with their babies which in turn supports a child’s language, cognitive and social skills. This is best done through talking, singing and playing - and specialist sessions have already been taking place in north Kent to show families exactly how.
Scroll down to hear about one parent's experience of a session she attended in Swanscombe with her five-month-old-daughter.
During a child’s earliest years, their brain makes one million neural connections every single second and positive, supportive experiences with parents and other adults, experts say, are important to their brain development.
Research has shown that when an infant babbles, gestures or cries and an adult responds positively with eye contact, words or a hug, neural connections are built and strengthened in the child’s brain.
But NSPCC research has revealed that some parents struggle with ideas about how to best interact with very young children, beyond eye contact and cuddling, particularly in the very early months of a baby's life when they are unable to positively respond to the interaction as older babies and toddlers will.
Through the LSSP campaign, parents are encouraged to take a look at what their baby is focusing on and how they react to it. To say what they are doing and copy the sounds their baby makes, sing along to their favourite tune or play simple games.
Emma Motherwell, local campaigns manager said: “We know parents interact with their children all the time, but there’s a real opportunity for them to do it more consciously and give them the best start in life.
“You don’t have to change your routine to have brain-building moments with your baby. Whether it’s bath-time, bed-time or you’re popping to the shops, there are always moments when you can look, talk, sing and play with your baby.
“We hope the Look, Say, Sing, Play campaign will resonate with parents and carers in the Kent area and provide some new and simple ideas to help them with vital early year engagement.”
- To learn more about Look, Say, Sing, Play please click here.