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Association Mala ulica - Center for children and families in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Eva Strmljan Kreslin, evaskreslin@malaulica.si

Childeas - Tiny Little Thoughts

With the project “ZAMISLICE” (CHILDEAS – Tiny Little Thoughts), ISSA member from Slovenia, Mala Ulica  wished to acquaint all new parents with the importance of early interactions. They provided parents with a pendant that can also serve as a pram mobile – a small, but important gadget that offers 30 handy cards with ideas for simple activities with babies which promote the child's overall development, anywhere, any time. In addition to description of a concrete activity, each card contains a brief explanation of why this activity is important and how it will foster child development. That was the way to encourage parents and stimulate them to engage with children in meaningful interactions, making them aware that all sorts of activities,  even if they seem inconsequent, such as singing, dancing or counting fingers are more than simple games. That they are activities that intensely promote the development of children's brain. And shape their future.

The material for “Zamislice” is developed in cooperation with the Pedagogical Institute and the Community Health Centre Ljubljana. Zamislice are presented and given to parents at their first baby health check by the pediatricians in Ljubljana. The project has various options for upgrading, e.g. the same accessory for toddlers (1–2 years, 2–3 years and 4–5 years), a mobile application and web site with instructions for early learning, etc., which Mala Ulica is planning  to realize and implement in the future. The results of numerous research papers in the fields of neuroscience, developmental psychology, pedagogy and other disciplines prove that experiences up to the third year of children’s life have an extremely strong influence on the realization of their social, physical and mental potential. Children's brains develop the fastest in the early years of life and thus create the basis for learning in the future. The future of our children and consequently the future of our society are therefore first and foremost in the hands of their parents.