Stimulating Infant Development

Devin Hampton

Keep it simple and natural

Parents should talk to the child and keep positive interactions with them. Giving the child a bath and singing to them make it a positive experience and build pathways between neurons. Other everyday experiences, such as changing diapers, can do the same for the child.
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Match experiences to the child's mental abilities

For infants, this can mean to find a toy that is age appropriate. Babies learn through physical experiences. Solid objects like blocks and parents talking to them and giving them examples can teach kids words when learning how to talk. When they get older, they can help cut out ads from the paper for the grocery store and develop motor skills.

Practice makes perfect

Routines and repetition are very important for children. This makes the connections between neurons stronger. Reading a bedtime story can help the child develop routines and the child will know it is important. When teaching them how to walk, they need practice everyday. The same with anything else a child develops as they get older, such as making them practice using their motor skills in different ways to develop them in more ways than one.
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Actively involve the baby

Children learn best by doing things. Like said earlier, involving kids in grocery shopping and having them help make the list and cut out ads is an example. Another example is taking them on a walk with you when you go out. Also, you can help them learn colors by asking them what color things are while you are out on your walk.
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Provide variety, but don't overload

It is good to give kids a variety of experiences, but don't give them too much of one thing and overwhelm them. Making them read and classify colors and animals in the same book every day can be a little much. So can taking them to the same restaurant or the same park all the time. If you don't like the repetition, chances are they don't either.

Avoid pushing the child

If the child doesn't engage in activities or show interest, don't push them to do it. Some kids may really like learning colors or numbers a certain way, but others need different ways, so don't push them too hard. If the child doesn't get it right, they might just not have the ability to comprehend it yet. Also, when eating make sure you don't push them too hard to where they don't want to do it anymore, because it is essential for all development. If they don't finish eating, they don't finish eating. They're probably just full just like you are.

Citations

Gibson, Melissa. "How One Mom Turned Errands Into Learning-Filled Fun."Parents Magazine. Family Fun, Mar. 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.

Moninger, Jeannette. "8 Toddler Learning Activities." Parents Magazine. Parents Magazine, Jan. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2015