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5 Steps for Brain-Building [downloadable] [video]

brainbuilding 606Child-adult relationships that are responsive and attentive—with lots of back and forth interactions—build a strong foundation in a child’s brain for all future learning and development. This is called “serve and return,” and it takes two to play! Follow these 5 steps to practice serve and return with your child.

This how-to video for Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child breaks down serve and return into 5 simple steps and features adults and young children doing each step together.

By taking small moments during the day to do serve and return, you build up the foundation for children’s lifelong learning, behavior, and health—and their skills for facing life’s challenges:

  1. Notice the serve and share the child’s focus of attention.
  2. Return the serve by supporting and encouraging.
  3. Give it a name!
  4. Take turns…and wait. Keep the interaction going back and forth.
  5. Practice endings and beginnings.

5 steps for brainbuilding 605

Download this PDF that explains how parents and caregivers can implement the five steps for brainbuilding. A Spanish-language version is also available.

Source: Center on the Developing Child |5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return, https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/5-steps-for-brain-building-serve-and-return | © 2019 Center on the Developing Child

To schedule an evaluation or to get advice about your child’s challenges, call or email a CHC Care Coordinator at 650.688.3625 or careteam@chconline.org

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