Session note Session notes

Session notes for Nathan Mikaere-Wallis on brain development for babies Stages: 7 to 12 months


If you missed watching the YouTube clip ‘Brain development for babies — An introduction to neuroscience and infant development’ with a family during the first 6 months of their baby’s life, take the opportunity to watch it at your next visit with them.

It’s a 5 minute 37 second clip of a ‘Compass’ seminar presented by Nathan Mikaere-Wallis to parents.

What makes humans different?

In the video, Nathan talks about the importance of brain development in the first 3 years of life, and about what makes humans different from other species.

One difference is that humans can adapt to any number of environments across the planet.

If you can, try to watch the YouTube clip together with the whānau, and afterwards ask them:

  • What are the most important messages Nathan is trying to tell us?
  • What new things have you learned by watching this?

The amazing brain

Invite the whānau to look at the brain development sections called ‘Te hinengaro mīharo’ (‘the amazing brain’) in the SKIP Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 2 (pages 8 and 21). Ask them:

  • Can you see anything here that’s similar to what Nathan was talking about?

Tell whānau about the Brainwave Trust ( and suggest they read some of the articles on the website that interest them.

The Brainwave Trust has educators who do presentations about brain development for community groups — you may wish to organise a speaker to visit your community, and invite the whānau you work with.

How does this relate to the SKIP resources? 

Baby wall frieze - All the frieze pictures relate to brain development.  However, Nathan talks particularly about the importance of relationship and communication, and these frames specifically reinforce his messages.

Kōrero mai, e aroha ana koe ki ahau - tell me you love me

Kōrerotia mai mō taku whakahirahira - tell me I’m wonderful

Whakarangatiratia ahau - make me feel special

Waiata mai - Sing to me 

Tāruatia taku reo - copy my sounds

Six things children need - Te hanga ao tōtika, ao haumaru - structured and secure world.


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