Until now, most of your baby’s learning has been through their senses—mouthing, touching, watching how things move, and tuning into different sounds.
Now their brain is starting to organize all of that input. Every experience they have helps build an encyclopedia of knowledge in their brain. The links in their mind are getting more and more complex. This is the foundation of their intelligence.
Experts agree that showing your baby how things work in the real world helps them with all of these brain connections. According to Doctor Will Staso, psychologist and author of Neural Foundations and Brain Under Construction:
“To gain knowledge and a rich brain architecture, children need to experience real-world objects, events, and situations from a variety of perspectives and sensory inputs.”
Here’s how it works
Let’s say your baby sees a picture of an apple in their ‘Things I See’ Texture Cards.
The parts of the visual image related to the apple’s colour will be stored in one location of your baby’s brain, and the shape of the apple will be stored in another. When you say the word “apple,” the sound gets stored in yet another location in their brain.
With repetition, your baby will start to associate the sound of the word “apple” with the image of the apple.
Then let’s say you go to the kitchen and show your baby a real apple. Your baby will notice how it feels in their hand, how heavy it is, see that the whole can be sliced into parts, and that an apple is found in the kitchen.
When you go to the grocery store, your baby sees many apples, discovering that they can roll when dropped, that the stem can be twisted, and that apples can be different colours. When they get an apple in their hands, they realize what it tastes like when it is bitten, and that a whole apple can’t fit entirely into their mouth.
The complexity of the associated network—just the apple network—is astounding!
The most meaningful learning happens when your baby is involved and exposed to everyday objects and events.
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