Watching a baby develop has always felt a bit magical to me. The way a little one gradually masters concepts such as cause and effect or size and spatial relations always makes me think about just how complex the human brain is…and how much potential for development it has! Since we are multi-sensory creatures, it stands to reason that our learning process is multi-sensory as well. And there are all kinds of fun and easy ways to use sensory input to help your baby learn new things.
One of your baby’s first senses to develop is hearing. Encourage this through singing and speaking to your baby as much as possible. While it can be easy to revert to a “baby voice”, speak to your baby as if they are a more developed child. Sing nursery rhythms or narrate what you’re doing to your baby so they learn all the different sounds they will one day be learning to speak.
Sight is another great way to engage your baby, even before they learn to speak. Show your baby a variety of multi-faceted inspiring toys. Stimulating your baby’s sight teaches them to recognize patterns, objects and even develop their memory. Try holding up different shaped and coloured blocks and state to them what each one is – before you know it, they’ll be able to repeat to you “blue triangle” or “red block”!
Taste and Smell
After about six months of age, your baby is ready to start eating solids. When they reach that age and you’ve consulted with your family nutritionist, start introducing different foods slowly. When you offer your baby new foods – try allowing them to smell it first so they can learn what different foods smell like. Once you actually begin feeding them the food, try reinforcing what the item is by saying phrases like “tasty broccoli” or “yummy sweet potato”. Eventually they’ll be able to recognize the smells of their favourite food and start requesting it themselves.
Finally, touch is another essential element that helps your child learn. From the texture of the clothes you dress them in to the variety of soft, hard and smooth textures of their toys, there is so much for your baby to learn! If your baby is particularly interested in a toy, try repeating the texture of the toy to them. For example, “BeatBo’s feet are shiny and his ears are soft”. Alternately you can try running their fingers over opposite textures while repeating the different names – for example, “Mommy’s sweater is soft and the coffee table is hard.”
If you’re looking for the perfect toy for a special baby in your life, the Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance and Move BeatBo is a fun and educational choice. Featuring three different ways to play, BeatBo has so many ways to stimulate and entertain your child! While babies will love watching BeatBo dance and toddlers will enjoy playing games to learn about colours and ABCs, even older children will enjoy speaking to BeatBo and then hearing him sing their words back to them! And to help get you ready for the holidays, Fisher-Price is offering a very special giveaway! Two lucky Mommy Kat and Kids readers are going to win their own Fisher-Price BeatBo, a $50 value! To enter to win, just leave a blog comment about who would be getting this toy if you won.
Even during the school-aged years, I’m amazed by how much my boys learn and grow each day, and it always brings back memories of those incredible days of discovery when they were babies. No matter what type of sensory input stimulates your baby’s mind, letting him explore the world around him will set the stage for a lifetime of learning and discovery!