Kids Learn Early

babiesMany of us have heard stories that it’s important for parents to talk soothingly, sing, and play music to babies yet unborn. Some of us have instead told jokes, made funny noises, or tapped a baby bump, asking,  “Are you in there? Can you hear me?” Turns out maybe the answer is yes. There’s another of those studies, this time out of the University of Helsinki. The study used music and the familiar tune Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Certainly a classic, but who knew how memorable? It turns out that babies in the womb who listened to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star showed spikes in brain activity when it was played. Furthermore, when incorrect notes were played, babies’ brains were not stimulated. Only the correct notes lighted up brain activity. It seems babies recognized the lullaby.

Now, this should give us a reason to think further. Children are capable of so much more learning at even earlier ages, and it seems, quite possibly, even before birth, too—if exposed to it. If that’s the case, parents, educators, and governments have an increased responsibility to keep the learning environment properly stimulated—and not just for the unborn, but for those children just beginning their learning journey. There’s a need for more of the right learning stimuli and not less. Fund, start, improve, and maintain pre-school and nursery venues for all children, not just for those that can afford it or are lucky enough to be in a place that supports it. Make it so in every country—including the poorest socio-economic.

So, watch what you say and what you do around that baby bump! And no need to go overboard by reading the dictionary aloud or reciting mathematical equations. Well—unless you sing them in lullaby form and finish with—“Baby, you’re so smart… and I love you!” And you might want to reverse that order, too.

Ken Royal

Ken Royal is an educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology teaching experience, as well as a blogger on all things education and education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is an Education storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.
One Comment
  • Paula Lee Bright
    14 April 2014 at 8:29 pm -

    Ken, I’ve always known this, from the day I saw my little brother trying to do what I was doing when he was just a few months old. I wonder if that’s the day I decided to become a teacher? Great post!