Helping Your Baby Learn
1. Create a Rich Learning Environment As active participants in learning, children not only like to learn, they yearn to learn. Here are some ideas for how you can create a rich environment to help facilitate that learning.
Encourage Exploration: Make sure his play area is safe, then let him check out what is behind the couch (make sure electric cords are out of reach) and what is in the laundry basket.
Give him things to see, smell and touch. For children under three months, try focusing on just one sense at a time.
Make his toys and books accessible.
Keep the Interest Level High: Move from one activity to another, but do not wait until your baby is bored to move on to the next activity.
Follow his lead. If he loves water, fill up the dishpan. If he brings you the same book every morning, read it.
Plan some down time with gentle and familiar activities. Read your babys cues: overstimulation can confuse and frustrate a baby, leading to crying, withdrawal or hypersensitivity.
Focus on the Little Things: Paying attention to the small successes (such as grasping and eye tracking) lets you witness growth almost every day.
Be a Good Role Model: Encourage cognitive skills by labeling, sorting, sequencing, comparing and pointing out cause-and-effect relationships for your baby.
Do things you like. Nothing sparks learning like passion for the topic.
Rehearse New Skills: Babies learn through repeated experimentation, so crank that jack-in-the-box again.
Provide a Rich and Responsive Language Environment: Use language to convey information and feelings, and encourage the learning of new materials and skills.
Read to your child! Reading provides a unique sense of language that is not communicated in everyday conversation. Reading also demonstrates to your child that reading is something you value.