We see this all the time at TELUS Spark. Although it might not be the way adults play, repetition like this is fundamental and beneficial to early childhood development. Young brains are growing rapidly. Providing children with good experiences builds healthy brain architecture and sets them up for success. Neurons are the basic cell units that make up our brains. Creating connections between neurons develops our brains. Experiences wire the brain and lead to learning; in young children this wiring happens constantly.
Repetition is a key component of healthy brain development and deeper learning because repetition reinforces and strengthens pathways between neurons. Doing something once doesn’t give neural connections the chance to strengthen and the pathways may wither. Through repetition, a growing brain can master new skills, which provides children with a sense of confidence and competence.
Repetition in the environment and a youngster’s routine is also important. Knowing what to expect from a situation or environment can help children feel safe and in control. When a child feels safe and supported, learning is able to occur. This is why we love to see youngsters really get to know the galleries at TELUS Spark, have favourite exhibits and act like they own the place.
Growing brains also love to be surprised. In addition to repetition, it’s important to find ways to introduce a new material, a new challenge or a new routine. Novelty can help a growing brain pay extra attention and create new connections. This is why we develop new programs, new exhibits and new experiences at TELUS Spark.
Nine Things Educators Need to Know About the Brain
Early brain development research review and update
Pam Schiller, Brain Development Exchange
Early Brain Development and Caregiving: Promoting and Protecting
Learning Through the Early Years: The Benefits of Repetition and Variation
The Magic Behind the Developing Brain
The Urban Child Institute
Do we have to do this again?