Your little one’s brain learns better when it’s challenged with new information. As a parent, you might know babies are very sensitive to their environments and can pick up on a lot while still infants. But did you know that babies have certain ‘windows of opportunity’ when it comes to learning specific things? There are different ages at which they pick up on various skills: emotional, verbal and logical. Read on to learn how you can help start this exciting process of learning!
Emotional intelligence: 0 - 18 months
Emotions like empathy, happiness, hopefulness and sadness are shaped by the way your baby is nurtured from birth.
Emotional intelligence could be defined by one understands and interacts with others. Even though this type of intelligence continues to develop since adolescence, the early experiences are what form the foundation for their lifetime.
By learning how to inculcate these following steps while interacting with your little one, you can ensure that as they grow older, they will set good moral standards for themselves.
- Acknowledge and verbalize the emotions that your baby is feeling. (If they are crying say, “Why are we crying? Has something upset us? What is it?”)
- Show empathy when your baby is upset.
- Bond with your baby on their level; "converse" through baby sounds.
- Explain why you're saying "no" instead of just saying it.
- Allow your baby to help in family activities, such as sorting laundry.
- Express positive feedback for good behavior.
- Explain when and how your baby's actions affect others.
- Provide a safe and consistent environment for your little one.
Speech: 0 - 10 years
The more you speak, the more communication your little one is exposed to. Babies are born with the ability of learning any language. They can pick up grammar and sentence construction in a way that they cannot once they become adults. It’s important to take advantage of this and use these tips to develop language skills.
- Start reading to your baby at a very young age. (Start while you are 7 months pregnant.)
- Talk back to baby's cooing and babbling.
- Point out and name things around you.
- Repeat yourself often.
- Pronounce words clearly.
- Use daily life activities to explain what you're doing.
- Sing songs and teach your baby the words.
- Play language games with your baby, like nursery rhymes.
- Consider teaching your child a second language while they are still young.
Math and logic: 1 year old – 5 years old
The skills required for problem solving are directly related to sight, sound and touch. Your baby’s math skills can be formed in conjunction with their musical skills. Here are some ways to stimulate those senses, so your child can learn spatial relations and problem solving.
- Give your baby different shapes, objects and colors to touch and see.
- Expose your child to classical music.
- Give your baby toy musical instruments to play with.
- Attach a mirror in your baby's crib.
- Carry your baby facing outwards so they’ll have lots to look at.
- Provide an assortment of toys that can be taken apart or put together.
- It teaches your baby the concept of cause and effect wit toys that make noise when squeezed or pulled.
- Teach your baby to put things in categories.
- Play counting games.