National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.journal.naeyc.org
Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Touch matters. Humans need nurturing touch for optimum emotional, physical, and cognitive development and health--especially in infancy. Positive touch lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the brain. Drawing on research and anecdotal evidence to support the importance of touch to children's well-being, the author makes a case for appropriate touching in early childhood programs. She discusses teaching children about types of touch and body ownership and advises teachers to take into consideration the child's personal preferences, culture, past experience and individual comfort level with touching, and sensory functioning when using positive touch with children. Several ways to add positive touch to the early childhood classroom are listed in this article.