Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Six Ways Infants Learn

Babies learn differently than adults. Their brains are still forming and going through the pruning process. Babies are curious and love to explore their new surroundings. Isn’t it great that as parents you get to be a part of that exploration? Since you are part of that exploration, it is good to know how babies learn. Here are six ways infants learn:

Synchrony: this is the give and take between you and your child. Dora the explorer attempts to have synchrony. She asks a question and waits for the child to respond. While the intent is good, synchrony is best achieved in person.


Joint Attention: this is doing something with your child. For example, watching a show together, reading together or playing blocks and so on. You can do many joint activities with your child. Your child will enjoy the time together and learn from you. 

Repetition: Say it over and over again. For example, if you are reading a book about a cow, every page point to the cow and say “cow.” This repetition will help the child remember what that animal is called.

Simplicity: Keeps things as simple as possible when teaching a child. Do not show a child a picture of a desk with clutter all over it and expect them to know what the word “desk” is referring to. Babies like simplicity.

Prosodic features of language: you know that high pitch voice everyone uses when talking to babies? That is called motherese, and babies like it! Most people do this naturally while others feel silly talking in such a way. Do not feel silly, this helps keep the baby’s attention.

Segmentation: things need to be broken down into smaller pieces. Imagine watching a TV show where everyone was talking at the same time. It would be much easier to remember the scene if instead of everything happening all at once, it was broken down into small conversations or several scenes. This is what babies need. They cannot be given a bunch of information at once and remember it. This is the same with instructions. It is difficult for young children to remember instructions when they are given all at once.

Have fun with your baby and enjoy being a part of their exploration!

Here is some more information about how infants learn:
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/How-Do-Infants-Learn.aspx
http://newparent.com/mom/how-infants-learn
Synchrony: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4254467/


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