Baby Brain Power: How Much Do Newborns Really Know?


Published:

When you bring your newborn home for the first time, it can be pretty scary. This tiny little creature is a mystery — and you’re completely in charge of her well-being. Communication seems out of the question. After all, she can’t talk and doesn’t even seem to realize you’re even in the room with her.

But take heart. Pediatricians and researchers say newborns and very young children actually can understand, sense and respond to much more than adults may realize. And that means you can start fostering a strong relationship from the very day you meet your new baby.

Dr. Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, a pediatrician in Chapel Hill, points out that very early on, infants have the ability to interact based on basic perceptions. “They can recognize faces very early on,” she says. “They’re born with billions of neurons that immediately begin connecting as they grow.”

Clarke-Pearson says when parents come in to see her with their baby, she’ll often point this out. “I’ll coo at the baby and say, ‘See how she’s looking at me? She’s only two weeks old and she can already tell I’m different from you!’”

Budding Einstein

But facial recognition is just the tip of what infants can comprehend, according to Elizabeth Brannon, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. Brannon says over the last five decades, experts have discovered that even in the first year of life, infants are extremely aware of the world around them.

“Every parent knows if you’re trying to keep a baby entertained, you might do something like shake a rattle for them to get their attention focused on that,” she says. “But then you find the baby gets bored, and what do you do? You find something else to show her to get her attention again.”

That doesn’t show that she’s not thinking — just the opposite. When that first rattle stops getting your baby’s attention, Brannon explains, it’s because your baby has studied it, comprehended it and is ready to explore something new. That’s showing that her mind is able to process information, make sense of it and file it away, ready for more input.

Babies can understand more than just a toy rattling in front of their face. Brannon cites a study during which researchers showed babies photos of different cats. The babies would study each picture with interest. But after the third or fourth picture of a cat, Brannon says, the baby would grow bored and look away or start fussing. Then, researchers would hold up a photo of a dog, and the baby’s interest would return.

“This shows even very young babies can differentiate between categories,” Brannon says, even something as similar as a dog and cat. After all, they both have four legs and fur. But the babies in the study could tell something was different between them.

“They also have abstract ideas about numbers,” Brannon says. When babies were shown images consisting of groups of eight objects, for example, they lost interest after viewing a series of photos with the same number of objects. But when those babies were shown an image with 16 objects? “They immediately showed more interest again,” Brannon says, indicating that babies can comprehend abstract concepts.

Emotional Awareness

Mother of three Lena Dyhrberg, a family health nurse for three-and-a-half decades and author of “Born Wise: New Information That Will Change Your View on Infants Forever,” believes newborns and very young children have a greater emotional awareness than adults sometimes acknowledge, too.

“Your child is born with a very fine intuition,” Dyhrberg says. “He feels everything around him.” So babies immediately have an awareness of the world that includes perceiving his parents’ emotions. If you’re feeling down one day, Dyhrberg says, you might find your baby to be fussy or crying that day, too. But when you’re feeling relaxed and comfortable, your baby will often respond in a similar way. Dyhrberg says he’s picking up on your signals and responding to them in a kind of emotional communication between you.

Basic Conversations

Experts say you can help nurture your child’s natural awareness every day. Around nine months of age, Brannon says, babies start showing “joint attention.” This means she’ll follow your gaze and even go so far as to point at what you’re looking at. “These are clues that the baby is beginning to pay attention to something that’s interesting to you,” Brannon says.

This is your opportunity to help build a connection between you and your baby and develop her future vocabulary, while also teaching her critical developmental skills that will help her interact with others in the future.

“When your baby points at something, you can respond by labeling it,” Brannon says.

So, if your baby is suddenly attracted to a bird at the bird feeder, you might say, “Oh, you see the bird! That’s a pretty blue bird, isn’t it?”

And while it’s perfectly OK to narrate your day to your baby to help her learn language and interaction skills by saying, “Let’s put this box of cereal in the cart,” or “Listen! You can hear the dog barking,” Brannon says research backs that parents who let infants and young children direct that line of narration themselves end up helping their child foster and refine language development even more. So, if you observe your child and see her attention is on that box of cereal on the shelf, you can say, “Oh, that’s a big box of cereal, isn’t it? It has a horse on the box!”

By letting your child lead the “conversation,” you’re talking with him rather than at him, even though he doesn’t have verbal skills yet. You’ll be helping build those connections in his brain, strengthening the bond between the two of you, and setting him on the best possible path for future emotional and intellectual growth.

Making that connection is what’s critical, Clarke-Pearson says. “I was at the park and saw parents on their phones, completely ignoring their little children,” she says. “It was a missed opportunity for both parent and child!”

Dyhrberg agrees. “Talk with your baby,” she says. “He understands you more than you think.”

Kathleen M. Reilly is a writer and mom in the Triangle. Visit her online at kathleenreilly.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Breastfeeding and Brain Development

Breastfed babies show signs of early brain development, particularly in regions associated with language, emotional function and cognition, according to a new study.

Separation Adjustment: Helping Children Say Goodbye

For both working and stay-at-home parents, helping a child adjust to being in new places is an inevitable step of early childhood.

Toys That Inspire Language Development

Early language toys can help set the stage for language development in children ages 6 months to 3 years.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

April 2019

Join professional chefs at the Food Lion Kitchen Stage as they prepare recipes using the freshest ingredients and products from the Food Lion Family. Learn tips to make healthier and easier meals....

Cost: $10-$12/person

Where:
NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh , NC  27607
View map »

More information

Celebrate mythic arts with magicians and musicians, acrobats and comedians, artists and crafters, proud knights and fairytale creatures. All ages. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
2908 Optimist Farm Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

More information

Shop, sample and share the fun at the Triangle’s favorite event for women. Discover hundreds of boutiques filled with the latest fashions, trendy jewelry, gourmet treats, health and...

Cost: $10-$12

Where:
NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  26707
View map »


Website »

More information

Ring in spring with Topper the Bunny on the farm with this festive egg hunt featuring entertainment and activities for all ages. Meet Topper and pose for Easter photos, and see him drop eggs...

Cost: $10 Topper's Pass (includes egg hunt); $5 Chickee Pass (egg hunt not included)

Where:
Hubb's Farm
10276 N US 421 Hwy
Clinton, NC  28328
View map »


Sponsor: HubbsFarm
Telephone: 910-564-6709
Contact Name: Tammy Peterson
Website »

More information

Take your favorite lady and enjoy stage performances, giveaways and activities. All ages.

Cost: $10-$12

Where:
NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh , NC  27607
View map »


Telephone: (704) 494-7563
Website »

More information

Celebrate the local craft beverage community while raising funds for Animal Protection Society of Durham at the 2nd annual Pints For Paws Craft Beverage Festival on Sunday, April 14, from 12-4 PM....

Cost: $10-$60

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster Street
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Animal Protection Society of Durham
Telephone: 919-560-0640 ext. 23
Contact Name: Darlene Fiscus
Website »

More information

Cary’s popular food truck rally also features music from local performers.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Cary
, NC  27511


Website »

More information

Enjoy free candy for all children through grade 5. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Bible Fellowship
9043 Chapel Hill Road
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Bible Fellowship
Telephone: 919-468-4590
Website »

More information

Children make treasured memories while increasing their knowledge of plants and animals. Ages 7-10. Register online. Choose course #121614.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Watch a brief slideshow, then explore the inner workings of the mill itself and witness the power of water as it turns the milling machinery. Preregistration is encouraged. 

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (ages 6-under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Geocaching is a treasure hunt where participants use GPS coordinates to track down hidden “caches.” Learn what geocaching is all about and head out to find a real geocache in the park! We will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Look for signs of spring. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #121682.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

See Mickey Mills perform steel drum music as enjoyed in the Caribbean. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Green St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Take your little princesses and sing-a-long with your favorite fairytale friends. Take a camera for an opportunity to meet and pose for pictures with the princesses following their...

Cost: $10-$12

Where:
NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh , NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Michael Carbonaro brings his signature blend of bizarre antics, audience interaction, hilarious video clips, and mind-blowing magic to the stage. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $40 and up

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization.

Cost: $15 or use your package/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Crows in red sweaters, nest and caw, gather snacks, and dodge a kitty’s paw. How many crows take to the sky? Count all the crows and watch them fly! Join us as we read this adorable story by...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 5-13. Homeschool Yoga is a one-hour class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness. Weave in art and journaling before or after...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »

More information

Ages 5-13 enjoy a one-hour yoga class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness, encourage the development of communication and social...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy a family-friendly movie on a big screen. Take snacks and blankets. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Halle Cultural Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization and more.

Cost: $15/child, use your package/membership.

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt Carmel Church Rd
chapel hill, NC  27517
View map »


Website »

More information

A brave young woman sets out on a journey to discover the mystery of her past through the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $129 and up

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ages 2-5 with caregiver enjoy sing-alongs, stories, a nature walk and a snack.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Hargraves Community Center
216 N. Roberson St.
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Website »

More information

Go back in time to the 18th century. Compare life then and now using pictures, artifacts, and modern objects as well as historic reproductions. In a guided inquiry, discover the purposes of several...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Do you have what it takes to be a History Detective? Come to Yates Mill and find out! Solve puzzles, hunt for clues and investigate the mystery of milling with real historical artifacts inside the...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), and $3/Child (ages 16 & under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Connect with your baby, other parents and yourself during this adult-focused postpartum yoga class. Recommended for babies newborn to walking. Take a mat, a blanket for your little one, and...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Expand your knowledge of local flora and fauna by exploring a different area of the park each month. Join park staff as they "nerd out" over amphibians, birds, insects, spiders and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Meet other families in your community in a recreation setting. The play room will be reserved for parents and their young children. Sports and recreation equipment will be available...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
Website »

More information

Young Mowgli learns about friendship, survival and the laws of the jungle. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $10/person

Where:
The ArtsCenter
300-G E. Main St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Take your own poles or borrow one from the park. Bait and basic instruction are provided. All participants 16...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

A brave young woman sets out on a journey to discover the mystery of her past through the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $129 and up

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Parent and child ages 2-5 water plants in the native wildflower gardens. Register online. Choose course #121560.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

This after-school class for kids in grades 3-5 offers fun learning yoga poses and mindfulness techniques to reduce stress. Grades 3-5. 

Cost: $15/class, or use your class pass/membership.

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt. Carmel Church Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
View map »


Website »

More information

A brave young woman sets out on a journey to discover the mystery of her past through the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $129 and up

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Take the family to see a movie by the lake. Movie begins at dusk. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

You may know the important role that milkweed plants play in the life of Monarch butterflies, but did you know that during World War II the government encouraged citizens to collect milkweed fluff...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Take your budding paleontologist on a quest to unearth colorful dinosaur eggs. Explore the Dinosaur Trail where you will find fun activities, adventure, and prehistoric excitement, including...

Cost: $7 for egg hunters, $2 for accompanying adults. Museum admission not included.

Where:
Museum of LIfe and Science
433 W. Murray Ave.
Durham, NC  27704-3101
View map »


Sponsor: Museum of Life and Science
Telephone: 919-220-5429
Contact Name: Heather Hill
Website »

More information

Join us for a day of family fun to welcome spring, including a picnic area, giant slides, a giant sandbox, the barrel train, and mini zip lines (weights up to 100 pounds).  An egg hunt for...

Cost: $8 Bunny Pass (includes egg hunt); $5 Chickee Pass

Where:
Hubb's Farm
10276 N US 421 Hwy
Clinton, NC  28328
View map »


Sponsor: Hubb's Farm NC
Telephone: 910-564-6709
Contact Name: Tammy Peterson
Website »

More information

Get ready for Easter with egg decorating. Make wooden eggs that will last for years. Along with the crafting, enjoy some treats.  Register online. 

Cost: $8/person

Where:
Bull City Craft
105 W NC highway 54
Suite 265
Durham, NC  27713
View map »


Sponsor: Bull City Craft
Telephone: 919-419-0800
Contact Name: Jessica Greene
Website »

More information

Enjoy fun, games, friendship and more every Friday.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
Website »

More information

A brave young woman sets out on a journey to discover the mystery of her past through the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $129 and up

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Preregistration is encouraged. Tours are not available between Noon-1:00...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (6 - under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Take a walk in the woods and discover the animals and plants that call our park home. Help collect data for our Natural Resource Inventory Database and other citizen science projects. All...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Take the family to enjoy a day of hands-on learning. Discover life on a 19th-century farm and play historic games, from parlor games to town ball, and make a toy of your own.

Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the rich African American history along the streets of downtown. From stories of entrepreneurs, triumphs, and tragedy, you will discover the legacy of the men and women who lived, worked,...

Cost: Adults $10, Youth 7-17 $4. Free for ages 6 and younger

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Take your Easter baskets and enjoy an Easter egg hunt featuring 25,000 eggs, including 3 golden eggs. Bounce houses, food, music and prizes round out the fun. Register today by texting...

Cost: Free

Where:
Baptist Grove Church
7109 Leesville Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27587
View map »


Sponsor: Baptist Grove Church
Telephone: (919) 787-4528 x224
Contact Name: Cynthia Jacko Wise
Website »

More information

Ages 4-12 with caregiver enjoy arts and crafts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

Take your budding paleontologist on a quest to unearth colorful dinosaur eggs. Explore the Dinosaur Trail where you will find fun activities, adventure, and prehistoric excitement, including...

Cost: $7 for egg hunters, $2 for accompanying adults. Museum admission not included.

Where:
Museum of LIfe and Science
433 W. Murray Ave.
Durham, NC  27704-3101
View map »


Sponsor: Museum of Life and Science
Telephone: 919-220-5429
Contact Name: Heather Hill
Website »

More information

Enjoy an Easter egg hunt featuring games and prizes. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Genesis Church
6724 Hankinson Rd,
Wendell, NC  27591
View map »


Sponsor: Genesis Church
Telephone: 843-908-1700
Contact Name: Carolyn Lutz
Website »

More information

Celebrate the diversity of all children with music, crafts, dancing and more. Enjoy stage performances, international food, games and crafts.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sertoma Amphitheatre, Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Put your dancing shoes on! Come to the mill yard to join our costumed interpreters in learning and dancing 19th-century country dances. You do not need to have a partner to dance—just a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal.  Preregistration is encouraged. Tours are not available between...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (ages 6-under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Stop by our FREE discovery table to learn about Earth Day, officially celebrated on April 22! Registration is not required. The display table is located by the Upper Playground.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

For almost 200 years, farmers brought their wheat and corn to what is now Yates Mill to have their grains ground into flour and meal. Today, you can stop by the Yates Mill visitor center to see a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

A brave young woman sets out on a journey to discover the mystery of her past through the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $129 and up

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

A brave young woman sets out on a journey to discover the mystery of her past through the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $129 and up

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Long ago, many families lived and worked on what is now Harris Lake County Park. Harvesting crops, tending livestock and carrying out daily chores were a major part of life in this bygone era....

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New HIll, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2018-19 Education Guide offers 678 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools, academic resources and an Exceptional Child special section.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.