Babies are little scientists. Their brains are wired for maximum learning. It has been suggested that babies have twice as many neurological connections as adults. Babies are absorbing as much about environment as they can. Their senses tell them a lot about their world. They study facial expressions, and react to pleasant and unpleasant sounds. They touch and taste, and learn to have an impact on the many things in the environment.
Therefore, from the time that an infant wakes up until the time they go to sleep, infants are learning and getting smarter and smarter. Social interactions with caregivers give infants a chance to learn and process language. It allows them the opportunity to engage in reciprocal interactions such as imitation, laughter, and loving touches.
When babies eat, they touch, taste, smell, hear, and see. They categorize information together according to characteristics to make sense of their environments. They figure out what things do and make mental notes on similarities and differences between things they experience.
This is why play is so important to learning. The more opportunities a baby has to experience his world, the smarter he becomes.
Here are just a few examples of the developmental benefits of everyday experiences in a child’s life:
Reading– increased vocabulary, rhythm, predictability, sentence structure, joint attention
Peak-a-Boo– object permanence- things can hide behind other things, facial expressions, shared fun, social interactions
Throwing A Cup– cognitive development-gravity, physics-what happens based on the form of a cup, does it crash and lie still or does it rock back and forth. Will the liquid swish and spill or will it stay contained? Social development-Will it scare the pet or make it come running? Will I get attention from mommy or daddy?
Singing– language, repetition, predictability, rhythm, body movement as in clapping, changes in tone of voice
Bubbles- eye tracking, emotional connection to caregiver, joint attention
…So tap into your inner-child, cut loose and have fun with your little ones!