“What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?” asks 7-year-old Molly Wright from Queensland. Molly has become an internet sensation after delivering a TED talk on parenting and is the youngest person to ever give a TED talk.
Her passionate plea to parents is to ditch digital devices and play with their children. Occasional use of devices is fine. However, when parents are not using their devices, Molly encourages parents to play and engage with their children. She warns that children can suffer as adults if parents are constantly preoccupied with their over-reliance on technology. Her message of how every child can thrive by five is backed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and her TED talk has garnered almost 100,000 views.
The first five years of a child are incredibly important for health and development, particularly the brain. The brain develops faster in the early years than at any other time.
Molly explains healthy development of the brain requires 5 things:
- A Healthy Home
Parent interactions early and often matter. Children are hard-wired to seek meaningful connections and when parents are constantly on their devices, it can impact important life skills for children such as a child’s ability to make friends, preparing for tests, finding work, relationships, and their mental health.
Molly suggests that simple interactive games like Peek-a-Boo can quite literally change lives.
“Every moment is an opportunity to connect, talk and play,” she says.
Molly was selected to present the TED talk on behalf of Thrive by Five , an initiative of the Minderoo Foundation that is campaigning to give more children access to quality early childhood education. Thrive by Five is run by Australian Philanthropists Nicola and Andrew Forrest and is designed to bring together researchers, families, and educators to bring about a movement of change in early childhood. Nicola and Andrew were guided by the principle that to help a community, you must first invest in the wellbeing and development of children. The campaign champions the idea that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are crucial to their development.
To watch Molly’s TED talk, click here.
Molly’s observations are insightful and Explorers Early Learning value the importance of strong family connections, early education, community and playing. Our centres are committed to families to create an environment that promotes childhood and individuality, play based learning, and opportunities for children to make choices. We understand small things are huge and positive early connections start the moment you are born.