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The science behind it.

Hand in Hand Learning > About Us. > The science behind it.

Making more sense of the neuroscience behind our courses

A newborn baby’s brain is about 25 percent of its adult weight. By around three years, the child’s brain will have developed by growing billions of cells and many trillions of synapses, connecting cells with the resulting expansion in operational activity. This initial three years of unimaginable cellular growth boosts a baby’s brain development at a greater rate than any other age.

Every day neuroscientists are discovering more and more amazing things about how the human brain functions and develops.

This research has led to a new understanding about just how much we as parents and carers shape the brains of our children. The question of nature versus nurture has been discussed for many years. It is becoming clearer that the person that we will become is down to a mix of both our inherited genetic makeup, and just as importantly the environment that we grow up in.





During the 9 months of pregnancy, your baby’s brain will grow a million million brain cells that will last them throughout their life.

For your baby’s brain to develop normally, it is important that you look after yourself and accept offers of help so that you can rest when you need to. High levels of stress, lack of sleep, alcohol and smoking can all have a negative impact on your baby’s brain growth.


The Whole Brain Child and Brain Storm, by Daniel J Siegel

Why Love Matters, by Sue Gerhardt

What Every Parent Needs to Know, by Margot Sunderland

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, by Howard Gardner

Touchpoints, by T. Berry Brazelton


Birth – 3 years

Even when your baby is first born they will already recognise and prefer your voice to anyone elses.  It is one of the things they have already learned during pregnancy. Most of your baby’s other behaviour is down to human pre-programing. They know to cry when they are hungry, tired, cold or need comfort. They know how to feed and hold their breath underwater. They even know to copy some of your facial expressions. Try sticking out your tongue at your newborn and watch them do the same.

The love and attention that your baby receives from now on will literally be promoting millions of brain cells to connect, each and every second. Baby’s brain is growing quicker than at any time in their life. By nurturing, smiling, talking and playing with your baby, you will be providing them with everything they need to grow a strong emotional bond with you and others, and strong foundations for their future.


Years 3-11

Your child’s brain is so receptive to learning during this period, but easily gets thrown if they are bored, frustrated or lacking in confidence. When they are tired, hungry or stressed you will find yourself living with something more closely resembling a reptile than your loving child as the fight, flight or freeze response takes over.

By discovering your child’s learning strengths and preferences, you will be able to provide an environment that will make them hungry to learn. You can help your child build millions of brain connections as they learn new skills, knowledge and behaviour by building on these strengths.


Years 12 – 24

During adolescence scientists have recently discovered that it is not only the body that undergoes massive changes in preparation for adulthood, but the brain too.

The self-centredness, uncommunicative behaviour, the thrill seeking and risk taking…all examples of the impact of the brain’s re-wiring.

An understanding of what is happening brings about an ability to support and guide in a way that will be welcomed by your teen, enriching your relationship and helping them achieve in their lives.

I was amazed to learn on my course that in every single minute of pregnancy, the baby will make 1/4 of a million (250,000) brain cells!

The knowledge I have gained has made a significant difference in me being able to encourage, interact, and help my baby learn. I now choose activities to stimulate the whole of his brain, encouraging the different parts to work together

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