Erikson Institute

The Growing Brain - Unit 7

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The greatest rate of brain growth takes place during the first few years, and this rapid development occurs at the same time a child is making critical connections with the outside world. The Growing Brain is an innovative course that explains how the brain develops step-by-step, neuron-by-neuron. 

Whether you are an early childhood professional, EI provider, Pediatrician or someone whose work impacts a young child. This training will support your work.

We are happy to offer Unit 7: Everyday Play as a Webinar. This training is open to anyone who is interested and attendance of the past units is not required

About the Presenter

Sara Anderson, LCSW

Sara has been working with children and families in a wide variety of settings for 10 years, including with Chicago Public Schools, and with teen parents and their children. She has experience with early childhood development, infant assessment, exposure to trauma and parent-child therapy. At Erikson’s Center for Children and Families, Sara provides counseling services addressing a range of issues, including trauma, domestic violence, anxiety, and child behavior challenges. In addition, she provides parent education and mental health consulting with Chicago area preschools and Head Start/Early Head Start centers. Sara earned her master’s degree in clinical social work at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and earned an Infant Mental Health Certificate at the Erikson Institute. She is a member of the Illinois Association of Infant Mental Health.

Elizabeth Stoltenberg, MS, LCSW

Elizabeth has been working with children and families in a variety of settings since 2007, including work with children with disabilities and their families in educational and recreational programs. As a therapist, Elizabeth has experience treating children and families in inpatient and outpatient settings. She has facilitated therapeutic groups for children and has utilized arts-based techniques  to meet children’s developmental needs. At the Center for Children and Families, Elizabeth provides relationship-based counseling services addressing a range of issues including trauma, anxiety, and child behavior challenges. Elizabeth holds a dual BA in English Literature and Arts in Theatre from the University of Maryland. She earned her MS in Child Development at Erikson Institute and her Master of Social Work from Loyola University.



1. Learn about the development of play
2. Learn about the differences between free and guided play
3. Learn about the core skills children develop through play and how to promote these skills.

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