Cognitive Abilities: Birth to 3
Standard – Explores the environment and retains information.
Your child’s ability to understand his/her world. It involves learning and problem solving.
What does it mean?
- Babies and toddlers want to actively explore their environment through all of their senses.
- Babies and toddlers are curious and like to investigate their surroundings.
- Babies and toddlers learn through play and exploration.
- Babies and toddlers watch and may try to imitate what they see and hear.
- Babies and toddlers develop preferences for people and things.
- Babies and toddlers begin to understand the purpose of objects and materials in their daily environment.
What are some things you can do?
- Provide a safe and healthy environment for children to explore (covered outlets, gated steps, and dangerous materials locked up).
- Provide children safe and interesting materials with which to play (pots and pans, rattles, shape sorters, blocks). Use materials that vary in texture, color, size, shape, etc. Use materials that let your child fill, dump and sort (rice/sand/water play).
- Encourage your child to explore – watch and comment as she tries out new things.
- Watch and learn from your child about their interests. Provide materials in which she seems to have an interest. For toddlers, check out picture books from the library on topics of interest – animals, toys and family members.
- Support your child's preference for a special toy (such as a blanket or stuffed animal). Let her talk about her special toy on outings with the family.
- Allow children the opportunity to play and repeat activities (knocking over the blocks, etc.).
- Have conversations with your child. Even before she can talk, she can communicate and learn from your words.
- Talk with your child(ren) about the function of objects as you and your child(ren) use them during the course of daily routines (cups, plates, cars, etc.).
- Play games with your child (imitate sounds, peek-a-boo, etc.).
- Limit television. Very young children learn from playing with real objects that they can handle and explore. TV is not recommended for children under 24 months of age.
- For toddlers, provide pretend play materials, like telephones, play kitchens, and cars. Pretend with your child and use make-believe.
- Take your infant or toddler on outings. Talk about the things that you see at the grocery store and walking in the neighborhood.
- Engage in activities that involve a sequence of events (peek-a-boo) to allow your child to anticipate and predict.
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