Five To Thrive – Brain Development

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Five To Thrive - Brain Development

A child can suffer early impact on their Brain Development even before they are born, for example, if there are problems during the pregnancy or they suffer a traumatic birth.
When a baby is born, 25% of their brain is developed and by the age of 3, 75% of their brain is developed. The brain is still developing until the age of 24.

Five to thrive – The 5 Building Blocks

The 5 building blocks are ‘the blocks to build a healthy brain’, starting from the bottom upwards, the bottom three are the most vital for babies, these building blocks are;

  • Respond – Assess the child’s needs – seeing what is the matter and why they are crying, checking their basic needs are met (warmth, comfort, nappy, fed, sleep) Crying doesn’t always mean that the baby is ‘upset’. It is the only noise they know how to make to get your attention. Sometimes they may just be singing or talking to you or want your attention.
  • Cuddle – Connect and engage with the child – give them cuddles and contact. Other forms of contact can be massaging, tickling, hair brushing and finger games such as round and round the garden.
  • Relax – Provide emotional containment by creating a relaxing space for the child to relax, singing, calming voices (not shouting) all help to relax a child. Babies sense the stress of the person looking after them, so if you are stressed then so is the baby.
  • Play – Children need repetitive play experiences to build strong attachments. You should follow the child’s lead in games and provide them with different types of ‘play’ such as, outside play, creative play, messy play and imaginative play.
  • Talk – Verbal communication – using different tones in your voice, listening and communication skills. Also using other kinds of activities to teach such as using, songs, rhymes and books, and talk to the children, asking them questions and allowing them to ask you questions ensuring you give them plenty of time to respond.

Emotionally Rich Environments –

  • Relationships are important for young children so having Key Carer’s in Nursery are so important for the child to build strong attachments at home and in Nursery.
  • Every interaction counts so we need to make sure that children are given opportunities.
  • Every behaviour is a means of communication, if a child Is crying or behaving badly – what are they trying to tell us?
  • It is important to know the children well, knowing what makes them anxious/stressed so we can help prevent this from happening.
  • Using correct body language, staying calm with the children especially if they are transitioning to a new room or going through a stressful time for example, moving house or a change in their routine.

Cultural Capital

Cultural Capital is a big part of brain development, as well as giving the children new opportunities such as going in the garden or socialising with others, We could also be providing love to children who may have never in their life experienced this before. Some children may never have experienced a relaxed or fun environment if their home is hectic and stressful, they may see nursery as a safe environment. Our jobs as Nursery practitioners are to provide the best early experiences that we can for the children in our care as from the age of 0-3 is when the brain develops the quickest.

Examples of adult mindfulness, Stimulating and soothing

Adult Mindfulness – Using eye contact, listening, engaging, caring, getting down to their level, giving full attention, using correct language, soothing voice, good listening, understanding.

Stimulating – Encouraging involvement, physical contact, good room layout (stimulating but not too much), good language skills, knowing child’s interests, sensory, colours, challenging, prime areas first.

Soothing – Cuddles, one to one, eye contact, soothing music, calm environment, communication, calm voices, quiet area, sensory area/room, treasure baskets, books, teddies and cushions.

Activities that can help develop relationships are, meal times, one to one activities, baking, garden times, sensory/ chatter boxes, safe spaces, comfy/soothing.


Children, especially babies, sense stress which can cause the child to become stressed, so the less stressed/worried staff are, the easier they can respond to children’s needs – If our heads are stressed and busy how do we have the time to listen to the children and help their needs?

Mindfulness activities;

Yoga, sensory boxes, lights off with a sensory light/disco ball, light box, lava lamps, music/dancing, relaxed room, massages.


Fixed/Growth mind set

Here are some examples of the differences between a Fixed mind set and a Growth mind set;

Fixed – “He needs to learn”                           Growth – “He needs to be shown”

Fixed – “She’s giving me a hard time”          Growth – “She’s having a hard time”

Fixed – “She needs to calm down”               Growth – Does she know what calm is?”

Our Nurseries

Bumbles Nursery Maghull

Manager: Rachael Swain
Broadwood House
31 Northway
L31 7BG

Maghull nursery is the first nursery we opened. It is a large detached building located on Northway Maghull next to the popular Bobby’s Field, story has it that there was once a horse residing there called Bobby.
We bought the building in 2004 when it was being used as a Doctors surgery. Following extensive refurbishment, it became a lovely home from home for the children we care for.

Bumbles Nursery Aintree

Manager: Ayme Westhead
St Giles Church Hall
Aintree Lane
L10 8LE

In 2007 following on from the success of Maghull nursery where we had a large waiting list, the time seemed right to open our second nursery especially when we were approached by a local school to provide quality wraparound care for the children who attended their school.

Bumbles Nursery Orrell Park

Manager: Amanda Dryhurst
49 Orrell Lane
Orrell Park
L9 8BX

Following on from our success of receiving an ‘outstanding’ grade from Ofsted we opened our third nursery to accommodate our once again large waiting list.
Here in this large detached building we have aimed to preserve its historical character whilst providing an exciting and stimulating environment for our children.

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