Ground Control Parenting – Carol Sutton Lewis

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Start Brain Building Today With Vroom!

If you have any children 5 years old or younger, you need to know about Vroom, an amazing set of resources and activities which you can use to help their young brains develop and grow strong. Vroom offers over 1000 activities for parents which turn everyday moments into “brain building moments”, giving children a strong base for lifetime learning. According to Vroom.org, parents are their child’s #1 brain builder: “A baby’s brain is wired to grow from birth! During your child’s earliest years their brain makes 1 million neural connection every single second. Positive supportive experiences with adults help your child’s brain grow strong and flexible.”

Vroom’s website offers an impressive variety of tools you can download FOR FREE. There you will find loads of tips and activities, and lots of easy to follow scientific explanations of how these activities, many of which take just a few minutes, help your child’s brain development.

You should also get their wonderful FREE mobile app on your smartphone. The app offers fun activities organized by topic, situation, or time of day, or you can schedule a random daily tip to be delivered at the same time each chosen day. You can keep an in-app journal with photos to document your child’s progress. Multiple kids of different ages can be included on one account, and parents can read tips in English or Spanish.

To see the Vroom app in action, I made an account for each of my children (fudging their ages a bit, since my youngest is 18). I put their ages in as 5, 3 and less than 1. I was asked to put in their names, and the app personalizes the tips using their names. So user friendly! For the 5 year old, I got a fun “letter hunt” game to be used if we were at an appointment. I was instructed to ask her to find letters in magazines, newspapers and signs around the waiting room, and to take turns naming and looking for letters. For the 3 year old, Vroom suggested we exercise his senses at snack time, by asking him to smell, taste and feel the snack (and talk about what he is experiencing) while he eats. For the infant, during playtime I was encouraged to give him some objects that are safe to explore in his mouth (e.g., plastic cups or spoons) and talk about what he is doing as he puts them in his mouth and moves them around. Even though he can’t speak, he is benefiting from hearing my words and experiencing my interest in his actions.

Vroom was developed by the Bezos Family Foundation (as in Amazon founder Jeff Bezos) with input from early childhood experts, neuroscientists, parents, community leaders, and Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. Each tip includes “Brainy Background”, simple and easy to follow information about the brain science behind the tip. I would have had a great time using Vroom tips with my kids if Vroom had been around when they were younger. Quick fun ways to spend time with them that can help strengthen their brain? What is not to love?

Parents, start building your children’s brains today with Vroom!

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