Creating a Responsive Learning Environment for Early Learning: From 4 Through 10 Months
The successful development of competent infants is the parents' belief that they can influence their child's mental development. The table below gives specific suggestions to families on activities for creating a responsive learning environment most appropriate for infant from four months through ten months.
|Use playpen only until baby becomes mobile; if used later, only for very short periods (5 to 10 minutes).||Playpen restricts environmental interaction, limits intellectual development.|
|Provide toys of interest, such as mirrors (very appealing to baby now; be sure they are safe, unbreakable); stacking toys; moderately small objects for dropping, throwing, banging. Moving and pop-up toys are interesting late in this period. Be cautious about expensive "educational toys"; it is not necessary to buy toys; homemade toys, designed to baby's needs, are often far better.||Provide intellectual stimulation.|
|Play games with fingers and toes, stroke legs, pat back; talking and identifying parts of baby can also be added. Encourage baby to pat caregiver, touch fingers, play pat-a-cake; allow to play unrestrained by clothing.||These activities contribute to the baby's perception of self and the beginnings of cognitive experience.|
|Play peek-a-boo games.||Provide visual, auditory, problem-solving stimulation; encourage cognitive anticipation.|
|Play, talk, interact with infant during all caregiving activities.||Most important for language development and motivation.|
|Encourage new games invented by baby such as drop toy-caregiver picks it up-baby drops toy.||Baby develops beginnings of inner locus of control, senses an active influence on environment; increases motivation.|
|Play games using eyes and language in games, such as "Look at Daddy, look at Mommy, look at baby's foot, look at kitty, look at..." (include things above, below, to right, to left).||Promotes eye coordination and focus, language experience, coordinating sight and sound, words with things.|
|Take trips to the grocery store, drugstore, department store (only when baby is rested, not during usual nap time). While on trips, talk about what is being seen.||Alert attention to varied environments and allow enrichment of sensory experience.|
|Cook and talk to baby, talk at meals, encourage baby to use words (infant seats are useful on trips or to have baby nearby as you work).||An important language experience.|
|Look at books and talk, read to baby; use different voices or create funny faces while reading.||Symbols of language become familiar, important, a source of fun and pleasure.|
|Carry baby in backpack for walks and while doing chores.||Allows baby to see the world and all that you do.|
|Use familiar lullaby tapes at nap and bedtimes.||Provides security in routine and encourages language skills.|
|Introduce baby to activities set to music; musical instruments.||Enjoyable and helps familiarize baby with music and rhythms.|
© ______ 2008, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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