Promoting Early Childhood Wellness in 2013!

As adults, we do many things instinctively, like having a conversation or working our way through a problem. Even activities as complex as flawlessly playing an instrument or learning a foreign language come very naturally to some. No matter how complex the activity, our abilities to complete all of our daily tasks began before we were three years old and were dependent on many factors working together to grow our early brains. As parents, we have the ability to encourage optimal brain development in our babies and equipping them with the building blocks for future success. We can do this by educating ourselves on positive factors that help brain development and negative factors that slow brain development in young children, so we know what to surround our babies with and what to keep them from.

Over the past year we have talked a lot about how young children experience the world through their 5 senses and how they develop the skills to help them succeed when they reach kindergarten. When we look at all of the information together, we can see the foundation for a bigger discussion: What else makes a school ready child? What does a family need to raise healthy and successful children? And, what does it take for our community and our schools to be ready to raise the leaders of tomorrow?

We will start this by looking at an aspect of readiness that involves the child, the family, the school and the community: wellness. The overall picture of wellness includes eating well, being active, feeling safe, physical and mental health care, strong families, and supportive learning environments. How we think about wellness may be a little different for our 0-3 year old children, but it still has a huge impact on how they continue to develop as older children and who they become as adults.