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Welcome!  This is your journey into

Building Empathy

and Reducing Violence

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Nanci face outdoors.heic



I’m Nanci J Bradley, early childhood educator and author.  This is Building Empathy Birth-3. 

Do you interact with young children on a regular basis?

Click on the photo of the brain to see a short video from Harvard University that shows just how important you really are!








In this virtual interactive workshop, I’m going to prove that empathy can be built especially in the very young and I’m going to share with you specific techniques and experiences that work. But first I'd like to give you some examples that show what empathy really is and what it isn't.

Please click on the word empathy to learn more.

I have a feeling that you want to get something you can use right away from this workshop.  Good, that's why I included this link to an article I wrote a few years back,  I still refer to it, every time I get frustrated with a child's behavior. Please click on the photo with the yellow boots or the title below to access the article. 

Even though I wrote the article, I still read it again and actually do the tasks.  I get good results every time.  After you read it, you'll probably understand why it works.


Your hands-on assignment for this segment is to try out the method outlined in the article with a real child.  If you don't have access to a child aged 2-8, you can actually do this with an adult.  Just substitute swimming, walking, crafting or another physical activity for the play dough.

most people are aware that we need more empathy in the world but they don't know where to start. This plan can be used during the first few years of life for the best possible outcomes.

PLAN big.png

each part of the PLAN will be explored in depth below

First, here's what you need to know about learning

is play

The Circle of Communication or

Serve and Return 

Please click on the photo above for a short video from Harvard

  • Make eye contact.

  • Gaze into your baby's eyes when feeding, playing, and changing diapers

  • Share facial expressions of joy and excitement. Watch and listen to your baby.

  • Try to notice her early cues such as back arching, hand sucking, and grunting so you can quickly meet her needs and avoid excessive crying

family, hygge and people concept - happy father and little daughter playing tea party in k

play is multisensory learning

what is empathy?

Many people talk about empathy and the lack of it in the modern world but how many really understand how to build it in the very young or why it's so very important to start early? Read this article on empathy to learn the exact words to use to promote it every day.

Look for signs of empathy evident in this heartwarming video on Youtube that depicts various interactions at Broomwood Primary School

we need a
to build empathy and reduce crime


please click on each of the letters in the word plan for your interactive lessons


conclusion and thoughts


Anne., Bailey, Becky A., Ph.D., Bailey, Rebecca. I Love You Rituals: Fun Activities for Parents and Children. HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2000.


Banaji, Mahzarin R., and Susan A. Gelman. Navigating the Social World What Infants, Children, and Other Species Can Teach Us. Oxford University Press, 2014.


“Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.” Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 4 Dec. 2017,


Gramling, Michael. Great Disconnect in Early Childhood Education. Redleaf Press, 2015.


Greenspan, Stanley I., and Nancy Breslau Lewis. Building Healthy Minds: The Six Experiences That Create Intelligence and Emotional Growth in Babies and Young Children. Perseus Pub., 2000.


Jones, Elizabeth, and John Nimmo. Emergent Curriculum. National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1994.


Lee, Regina, et al. “Effects of an Unstructured Free Play and Mindfulness Intervention on Wellbeing in Kindergarten Students.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, no. 15, 2020, p. 5382.,


Loyola University, Infant and Early Childhood Coognuitio Lab,


Neuman, Susan B. Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children. National Association of Young Children, 2000.


Pica, Rae. What If We Taught the Way Children Learn?: More Straight Talk about Bettering Education and Children's Lives. Corwin, a SAGE Company, 2021.


Stone, Sandra J., and Gail Lindsey. “Reviews of Research: Brain Research and Implications for Early Childhood Education.” Childhood Education, vol. 75, no. 2, 1998, pp. 97–100.,

“Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.” Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 4 Dec. 2017,


Derman-Sparks, Louise, et al. Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves. National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2020.

Karr-Morse, Robin, et al. Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence. The Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013.


Rosenberg, Marshall B. Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life: Create Your Life, Your Relationships & Your World in Harmony with Your Values. Puddle Dancer, 2003

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