On the Site:

5B45

Vroom App Gives Parents Tips On Brain Building Basics For Kids Under 5 Years Old

Mar 24, 2021, 6:58 PM | Updated: 9:50 pm

PROVO, Utah – The majority of brain development happens within a child’s first five years of life. For parents, the responsibility of helping their children learn can sometimes be overwhelming. One Utah couple is using an app to create a better learning environment for their young daughter.

Travis Allred is first and foremost a dad to 2-year-old Madeline. “Madeline is super bright and precocious,” he described.

Travis has always been passionate about education. Today he is the Early Learning Project Manager at Envision Utah. His work centers around Five Before Five — a brain-building initiative designed to give parents the resources they need to help children through basic principles like love, talk, read, count, and play.

When he first started in this role, Madeline was only 4 months old.

“I was able to come home immediately and go, ‘OK, we need to be talking a lot more to our baby. We need to be just really, really filling her ears with lots of language,” he recalled. He and his wife Nichelle Allred, use an app called Vroom, which gives parents daily tips on how to help their child learn.

“It is a platform that provides tips to parents on ways that they can engage with their kids to really bolster their brain development and support healthy brain infrastructure in the early years of the kid’s life,” Jason Brown, vice president of communications and education at Envision Utah, explained.

Brown said every suggestion is founded in brain-building science and research. “They have all the best experts in early brain development, giving their input on these tips,” he said.

Each suggestion is also based on your child’s age.

“Every moment of your child’s life, their brains are busy building neural connections and growing,” Brown said. “The tips that it gives you are targeted to what is most developmentally appropriate.”

The tips are focused on everyday tasks, like grocery shopping or making dinner together. He said the free app and texting service is geared to help parents recognize that even life’s seemingly simple and mundane moments can be an opportunity for brain building.

This hit home for Nichelle when she was feeling overwhelmed at the thought of constantly talking to her little baby who couldn’t even talk yet. She received a tip suggesting she put Madeline on the bed with her while she folded laundry, put socks on her hands, and play with sock puppets.

“I would do that with her and it ended up being really fun. We just talked about, like the textures of the socks,” Nichelle described.

Travis said the biggest game-changer for him was when he received a tip about making funny noises when changing Madeline’s diaper.

“I’m realizing like, ‘Oh, I was changing diapers in silence. What a waste of an opportunity to be engaging with her and making bright faces at her,” Travis said.

Now, engaging in brain-building activities for the Allreds is second nature.

“After you do it a few times, you start to see your interactions with your child in a different way. You start to see opportunities that you have to have what we call brain-building moments with your kid,” Brown said.

To parents who may feel like they can’t handle one more thing on their plate, Allred reminded them that brain-building can happen anytime, anywhere. “You can count anything, right? You can count … in the car,” he said.

Brown reminds parents they don’t need any special toys or a fancy curriculum to help them succeed. “Every parent already has everything they need to build a child’s brain to create a strong healthy learning environment for their kids,” he said. The Allreds quickly noticed a huge expansion in Madeline’s vocabulary. “She would say a couple words, and then it turned into 10 and 20, and now it’s thousands,” Nichelle described.

“Now she’s at a point where she’ll just read to herself, honestly, sometimes for hours at a time. It has blown us all away,” Allred said. “As she’s acquired more words to describe how she’s feeling, she’s really been able to open up her personality.” As parents, watching Madeline grow is everything. “It is such hard work, but oh, my goodness is one of life’s greatest joys, life’s greatest blessings,” Travis said.

You can download the Vroom app on the App Store or Google Play store, or you can sign up for weekly text messages by texting the word ‘baby’ to 48258.

KSL 5 TV Live

5B45

Sylvia Lam with her children. (KSL TV)...

Aley Davis

Free Sparkler app helps Utah parents track their young child’s developmental milestones

It’s well known parenthood doesn't come with an instruction manual — or at least it hasn't, until now. The Help Me Grow Utah program introduced a new app to help parents along the way.

2 months ago

Alyssa McBride is the mother of three children. After her youngest son, Jack, was born, she started...

Aley Davis

Teaching children to regulate emotions early is essential to future success, experts say 

Teaching kids how to regulate emotions early is essential to future success.

3 months ago

The Department of Cultural and Community Engagement's STEM for Milo + Friends....

Debbie Worthen

Utah STEM program aims to help parents prepare children for success with conversation cards

When it comes to preparing your child for kindergarten, there is one score that experts now say can determine all kinds of life success, and it's not reading. It's math.

5 months ago

An educator reading to young kids at the Salt Lake City Library....

Debbie Worthen

Experts say 1,000 books before kindergarten helps develop a love for reading

A Utah program is aiming to foster an appreciation for literature for early cognitive development by getting kids to read 1,000 books before kindergarten.

6 months ago

For every parent of young kids, it's no secret, "sharing" isn't something that comes naturally for ...

Debbie Worthen

For children, sharing isn’t easy, but it’s an important part in their social development

For every parent of young kids, it's no secret, "sharing" isn't something that comes naturally for most children. But it's an important part of their social development.

8 months ago

Meghan Ballard shows her three-year-old games on the IPad....

Ashley Moser

Balancing screen time with small children: Consider content, not time experts say

When it comes to letting your young children use iPads, computers, or your phone, how much technology is too much? 

12 months ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Vroom App Gives Parents Tips On Brain Building Basics For Kids Under 5 Years Old