The video 'Building brains' is designed to increase understanding of brain development during the early years of life and the importance of interaction between tamariki and their caregivers.

Watch this 3-minute video created by Moana Research. It talks about how a child's early experiences influence how their brain develops. Genes provide the basic blueprint, but experiences affect how that plan unfolds. What happens to a child influences whether their brain will provide a strong or weak foundation for their future learning, behaviour, and health.

Building Brains (transcript)

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.

Learning language

booklet Te Pihinga 1 (page 25) talks about how babies can learn any language as long as it’s spoken regularly with them.

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

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

The amazing brain

Invite whānau to look for the brain development icons scattered throughout the Whakatipu booklets Te Pihinga 1 and 2. They describe what’s happening for pēpi in their hinengaro mīharo (amazing brain).

Ask whānau:

  • What was the most interesting thing you learnt in the video?
  • What do you understand about the idea that some experiences can help while others get in the way of healthy tamariki brain development?
  • How might watching this video influence how you raise your tamariki?
  • Did the video change any ideas you had about how tamariki develop?

Tell whānau about Brainwave Trust(external link) and suggest they read some of the articles on the website that interest them.

Brainwave Trust has a team of who run workshops about child and brain development for community groups – you may wish to organise a speaker to visit your community and invite the whānau you work with.

Helpful resources for whānau