A loving relationship is the key to laying a healthy foundation for all future learning. It ensures a baby has a strong, positive emotional basis to build on, and helps in the wiring of a strong brain.
Through simple, everyday interactions, babies’ brain cells can be stimulated to connect into neural pathways. And by repeating the interactions, the pathways in the brain are strengthened.
The 12 pictures on the SKIP baby wall frieze show easy ways a strong relationship can be built between a family and baby.
Most of the pictures are relevant at any time during the first two years, or even longer.
So, what are the babies in the frieze trying to tell us?
Tell me you love me – Kōrero mai, e aroha ana koe ki ahau
- If I’m crying and you try and comfort me, I learn to trust you (and other adults) and my world.
- When you hold me and feed me, I learn to trust you and my world.
- When you sing to me and rock me gently, I learn to trust you and my world.
Sing to me – Waiata mai
- I like the words, the tune, the rhythm, the movement and the repetition.
- Did you know that singing releases endorphins (‘feel good’ hormones)?
- Singing helps me learn language, it helps my memory, I learn about our culture and I learn about rhythm and patterns. I learn best when I’m interested and when you make my life interesting.
Copy my sounds –Tāruatia taku reo
- When I talk to you and then you talk to me, I know we belong together.
- I learn that people take turns when they’re talking. You’re teaching me about conversations.
- My brain makes connections for language best when we talk face-to-face.
Read my favourite story again and again – Pānuitia taku tino kōrero – anō, anō
- I love it when you hold me and we read a book — I hear your voice, I feel you close and we share the story together.
- I like hearing my favourite story over and over, because I know how it goes and I like how it’s the same every time you read it.
- Connections in my brain for understanding language work better when I see the pictures and hear you talk about them at the same time.
Tell me I’m wonderful – Kōrerotia mai mō taku whakahirahira
- At birth, my brain prefers the sound of human voices above all other sounds, and I can recognise voices I heard when I was in the womb — I’ve made connections for that before I was born.
- When you gaze at me and I gaze at you, I know I’m loved.
- When I hear your voice talking softly to me, I know you’re near and I feel safe.
- When you tell me I’m wonderful, I feel wonderful and I think our world is all right.
Listen to me – Whakarongo mai
- I try to tell you how I’m feeling using my face, my body, my cries and other sounds.
- When you keep trying to understand what I’m trying to tell you, I feel OK about who I am.
- If I cry, I need you to try to fix something.
- When you respond lovingly to me, it helps my brain make connections for handling my emotions, and I learn to trust my world.
Give me things to play with – Homai ngā mea hei tākaro māku
- Whenever I’m playing, I’m learning.
- My brain gets information as I explore things with my senses. I learn a lot in my first year about what things are by putting them in my mouth.
Let me do things over and over again –Tukuna ahau kia mahi, kia mōhio ai ahau me pēhea te ako
- Repeating experiences makes those pathways in my brain stronger.
- Because of all those new connections my brain is making, it’s growing bigger.
Make me feel special –Whakarangatiratira ahau
- I need to know that someone loves me, no matter what.
- If I’ve learned to trust my world, I will be much more curious and confident to explore.
- Stress is toxic to my brain, because stress hormones can destroy the connections I’ve made.
Teach me about our family –Kōrero mai mō tō tātou whānau
- Then I know I am not alone.
- I learn best from the people who love and care about me — I’ve learned to trust them.
- When I’m born, I can easily learn 2 or more languages — as long as I hear them spoken to me regularly.
I love to learn – E aroha ana ahau ki te ako
- Everything I see, hear, smell, touch and taste helps my brain cells to connect into pathways.
- At birth my brain is unfinished. It needs lots of input from my world to connect and develop.
I can watch – Ka taea au ki te mātakitaki
- I’ll copy what I see you do and what I hear you say.
- Much of my learning comes from what I see.
- By 12 months, my eyes, my hands and my brain are working together, and I can see as well as most grown-ups.