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Brain Building Tips

Vroom distils early learning research into bite-size activities that support children’s brain growth from birth to age five. With the backing of the Bezos Family Foundation, vroom.org was developed by a group of dedicated scientists, community leaders and trusted brands, with input from community organisations and families, early childhood experts and neuroscientists.

Big Foot, Little Foot

Cleaning up

When you're doing laundry, have your child help with simple sock matching. As you do, talk about who has big feet and little feet in your family. Have a conversation about which socks go together and why. Are they the same colour, pattern, or size? Help your child hold the socks next to his/her feet, then your feet, and talk about the differences.

Grouping objects into categories (figuring out what’s the same and what's different) and having a back and forth conversation about them helps your child to understand the world around him/her.

Bye-Bye Bubbles!

Cleaning up

While cleaning up, give your child a soapy sponge and a large container with a little water so he/she can help wash safe kitchen items. Scrub up lots of bubbles together. When you are ready say, “Bye-bye bubbles!” and show your child how to rinse the bubbles away. Encourage him/her to try it.

Youre helping your child make connections between cause and effect as he/she explores the water and bubbles. This kind of experimenting will help your child with learning math and science later on. When you include your child in daily chores, you help him/her feel confident and independent.

Clean Clothes

Cleaning up

When you’re putting away laundry, have your child find the places in the drawers or shelves where the clean clothes go. If your child guesses something different from where you would put it, talk about your reasons for putting it somewhere else.

Grouping objects into categories (figuring out what’s the same and what's different) is an important exercise that sparks connections in your child’s growing brain. Having a back and forth conversation makes the learning so much richer.

Cleaning Together

Cleaning up

Turn cleaning a surface into a game. Give your child a clean, almost-dry sponge and ask him/her to help you wipe off a surface you’re cleaning. Ask your child to wipe it clean in long lines from top to bottom. Then try making a zigzag. Then circles. See what he/she thinks of too!

Doing “grown-up work” can make your child feel very proud of himself/herself and his/her accomplishments. In addition, your child is learning how to take care of the things in his/her life and is also learning new words too!

Clothes Confusion

Cleaning up

As you fold or organise clothes after doing the laundry, call the objects the wrong name or colour. Call a pair of pants a “dress,” or a red shirt “purple.” See if your child can catch your mistake! Can he/she tell you the real answer? Then let him/her have a turn.

Your child must use focus to play this game, memory to remember the rules, and think flexibly as the game changes. When your child takes the lead, he/she must use self-control to stop copying you and give the real answer—all important learning skills.

Dirty Dishes, Goofy Giggles

Cleaning up

While you clean up the dirty dishes, show your child a dirty dish and say “yuck” with a funny face. Your expression should make your child giggle. With each new dish, use a new word, such as “sticky” or “goopy.” See what funny words he/she can come up with too.

Your child learns communication skills from your tone of voice, facial expressions, body movements, and words. He/She also learns to love the sound of words when you use funny words.

Drummer Beats

Cleaning up

When you’re doing the dishes, use one of the clean pots and a spoon to make a drum. Copy each other’s sounds. Go back and forth taking turns, repeating the same sounds. Build on each other’s beats.

Your child will be paying attention and using his/her memory to repeat the sounds you make. Memory and focus are important skills in learning.

Hand to Hand

Cleaning up

While washing dishes, give your child a spoon to hold. Say, “You have a spoon!” Then hold your hand open and say, “My turn!” See if he/she will hand the spoon back to you. If he/she does, say, “Thank you!” If he/she doesn’t, give him/her another utensil and see if you and your child can trade them back and forth.

When you and your child play this game of give and take, you are helping him/her understand the back and forth of communication. He/She is using his/her skills of focus and self-control as he/she listens, watches, and follows your directions.

I Can Help

Cleaning up

While you’re doing laundry, ask your child to help. Invite him/her to sort clothes into piles of dark and light colours.

It may take longer, but when you let your child help, he/she learns about how to hold an idea in his/her mind and get it done. These thinking skills are needed to make plans and see them through—skills your child will need the rest of his/her life.

Laundry Delivery

Cleaning up

After folding the laundry, ask your child to help you with Laundry Delivery. “Where do the towels go? That’s right, in the bathroom! What about your pajamas? Yes! In your room. Which drawer?” Switch and let your child pick the items and ask you where they go.

When children learn to group things into categories, they learn how to organise and make sense of their experience. Just think about how important “matching” is to reading, math, science, and many other subjects.

Laundry Detective

Cleaning up

As you sort laundry, ask your child to guess who it belongs to. You can hold up a shirt, “Who wears this?” Let your child respond and then he/she can pick the next piece of clothing and you guess. If your child doesn’t know, you can tell him/her and share how you know this.

When your child guesses who the clothing belongs to, he/she is playing detective. Your child is focusing, paying attention to clues, and using his/her working memory and problem solving skills. These skills are important for learning new things.

Laundry Ins and Outs

Cleaning up

Invite your child to help you gather clothes for washing. Put them IN the laundry basket, pull them OUT, and then put them IN the machine, and pull them OUT. Use the words IN and OUT to describe your actions and see how your child learns these concepts!

Children your child’s age like putting and pulling things in and out of containers. Using this interest to help you get a chore done also helps your child learn the concepts of IN and OUT, and to organise his/her understanding of the world.