The video 'Brain development for babies' explains how brains develop in the first 3 years and how humans are different from other species.

Watch this 5 minute video in which Nathan Mikaere-Wallis talks about neuroscience and infant development.

Getting familiar with the video before you watch it with whānau will help you to support the discussion better.

Arrange things with whānau ahead of time so that you have the right technology to view the video.

How humans are different from other species

Nathan talks about the importance of brain development in the first 3 years of life and about what makes humans different from other species.

He tells us that humans can adapt to any number of environments across the planet.

Ask whānau:

  • What are the most important messages Nathan is trying to tell us?

Learning language

On page 21 of the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 1, it talks about how babies can learn any language as long as it’s spoken regularly to them.

And if there are 2 or more languages spoken regularly, then they’ll learn those languages.

  • What does Nathan say about the importance of talking to a baby?
  • What do we know about how we should talk to babies?


Look at page 9 with whānau. Here it talks about being careful in the early days with too much stimulation, as it can be unsettling for a newborn.

Think about what Nathan says about talking to baby and warning against overstimulation.

  • What messages can we see here on page 9 that Nathan also talks about?

Wall frieze

Look at the baby wall frieze together.

  • What are the messages in the frieze that Nathan talks about?

Helpful resources for whānau