Two-year-old Junie sticks both fingers in her ears and closes her eyes. Then she makes noises with her tongue. Devon, a three-year-old boy, steps into a puddle and watches mud ooze over his white tennis shoes. Then he jumps. Mud splashes onto his clothes and face. Immature? Yes. However, as these children explore the world around them, they soak up information at an unbelievable rate. Did you know that a child's brain has two times the neural circuits of an adult's brain? Junie discovers new sounds with her experiment, and Devon learns how mud feels and moves. This is exploration; this is creative learning.
"No longer do we consider the first five years of life to be a vast cognitive wasteland during which [the] brain undergoes an arrested development. The neural networks by which all future complex learning will be based are forged during this crucial early period and by a specific series of vitally important brain processes." This excerpt, taken from the article "Early Brain Development and Learning," by Kenneth A. Wesson, Education Consultant for Neuroscience, explains that toddlers and preschoolers are capable of learning more than parents sometimes think possible.