Touch, Talk, Read, Play

The Urban Child Institute recently partnered with the Neighborhood Christian Center — an organization dedicated to ending the devastating cycle of poverty — to help translate and transmit this important message to the Memphis community.

The partnership between the NCC and the Urban Child Institute provides a sort of real-life laboratory for the work the groups are doing. As a part of this collaboration, NCC took the top 10 things a parent should do to help their child’s brain develop and helped break them down into four simple and easy action steps.

In the first year of life, Baby's brain grows at a remarkable pace. By the time Baby is three, his brain will reach 80 percent of its adult size. That’s why the time from Baby's birth to when he turns three is so important. Early brain development is largely shaped by Baby's environment, as well as his health and wellness.

But his brain is wired to learn and you, as parents, can be an active part of his development by these simple, daily habits that don't cost a thing.

Touch Baby's Tender Skin

Touch Baby’s Tender Skin

Caress those tiny toes. Cuddle him in your arms. Even before Baby’s sense of smell or taste develops, he knows touch, so touch is the most important thing in their young lives.

Talk to Baby

Talk to Baby

Explain the world. Show him colors and shapes. Tell him he’s loved.

Read to Baby

Read to Baby

It can be Shakespeare or Dr. Seuss or your shopping list. Tell him a story, and show him the words and the pictures.

Play with BabySkin

Play with Baby

Play peekaboo or hide-and-seek or tag. Make up your own games. Have fun.

Of all the gifts he’ll get during his life -- the stuffed teddy bears, the Tonka trucks, the books, the blankets -- this one: Touching, Talking, Reading, and Playing, is perhaps the most important and it doesn’t cost a thing.

Touch. Talk. Read. Play.