Trust & Bonding Lesson

bonding.and.trustBeing there for babies and the importance of trust is what this lesson is all about. Bonding is a term that describes a parent’s tie to an infant and typically occurs early in the child’s life. Strong bonds of attachment helps develop a sense of security and trust within an infant’s development.   This lesson and activities explore why bonding  and trust are so important and what can happen when it doesn’t exist, and why touch is critical to healthy development and relationships.

Class Time:  4 Class Periods (43 minute periods)

PA Standards

  • 11.4.12 A Analyze current research on existing theories in child development and its impact on parenting (e.g., Piaget, Erikson and prior findings versus new brain development.
  • 11.4.12 B Analyze current issues in health and safety affecting children at each stage of child development.
  • 11.4.12 C  Analyze practices that optimize child development (e.g., stimulation, safe environment, nurturing caregivers, reading to children).


  • Ask students to think-pair-share with their neighbor everything they can think of that bond together.   Examples might include paper and glue, bricks and cement, Velcro, parents and children and even chemicals.
  • Discuss what could happen if things didn’t bond.
  • Divide the class into 7 small groups and give each group a heading from this article and have the group read, summarize and create a visual  to represent their assigned section.  Present to the class to give an overview of the article.
  • To help understand bonding view this YouTube clip and then have students write a summary paragraph describing why bonding is so important and how they plan to bond with their baby.


  • Projector & Screen
  • Lab Supplies & Food
  • Poster Supplies


  • Discuss John Bowlby’s theory of attachment and explain diagram illustrating it.  Discuss the effects of secure attachments.
  • To illustrate trust (Erikson’s theory) have students participate in a “Trust Lab (similar to a trust walk)” and make something simple like no bake cookies or peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  Basically everyone but one person is blindfolded and the seeing person must verbally guide the blindfolded students successfully through the lab without physical guidance.  Discuss reactions, results and connections to trust and infant’s needs and ability to trust.
  • Ask students to write a reflection about the experience and how it relates to an infant’s need to develop trust.
  • Discuss the effects of insecure attachments and make connections to negative experiences within the trust lab.
  • Explore the importance of touch and how sensory deprivation shows us that we can’t live without touch.  Orphanages are a prime example of this as seen in this YouTube clip.
  • This is when I like to show the connection between love and touch and Harry Harlow’s experiments with monkeys as shown in this clip.
  • Have students draw/create two Instagram scenarios; one illustrating trust and one illustrating mistrust using the provided template.  Each should contain a post to me describing the scene and a creative hashtag below the picture or illustration.  (Ex. Draw a picture of mother rocking her baby and below it– Mrs. G–rockin’ my baby #bondingwithbaby.)  Repeat with a mistrust example.
  • Finally, complete a writing prompt using the ACES format of writing.


  • If time permits my students enjoy exploring the topic of feral children and how the lack of bonding and attachments has affected their lives.  I like to show them this video called “Wild Child The Story of Feral Children”.  Students complete an exit slip and the following day we discuss their reactions to these stories as well as how the lives of these children were impacted.







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