Babies LOVE to learn!
According to Brillbaby (n.d.) baby's brain is hardwired for learning, making babies the most avid students in the world. What's more, babies and small children carry none of the baggage that comes from being sent to school and being subjected to quizzes, tests and examinations. For babies, learning is pure enjoyment.
Stimulation should never be forced
Regular stimulation is important, but not to the point of forcing. Above all, your child should enjoy the learning process. Practise stimulation activities only when your baby is receptive and end it before your baby loses interest.
Play is ESSENTIAL
Babies and children need time to explore the world around them, pick up objects and examine them, and get to grips with the laws of nature. Your baby should spend the majority of her waking hours engaged in hands-on play (Van der Meer 2017). “A playing, moving, gurgling baby is hard at work” (De Jager 2012:49).
Relax and have FUN
Avoid focusing on having your child achieve specific goals. Treat stimulation rather as an opportunity for strengthening the parent-child bond. Stimulating your baby should never become a source of stress for either one of you. If you feel this is happening, re-evaluate your approach or trim down the stimulation as necessary. Doman (Doman & Doman 2005:10) summarised it beautifully; “When you teach a tiny child even one of these things, his intelligence rises. When you teach a tiny child several of these things, his intelligence rises sharply. When you teach all these things to a tiny child with joy and love and respect, his intelligence is multiplied.”
The emphasis is always on having fun and adding another, enriched dimension to parenthood. When you know how to play smart with joy and love, you will give your baby an extra kick-start!
Brillbaby n.d., The fundamentals of early learning, viewed 17 October 2019, from http:// www.brillbaby.com/early-learning/introduction-to-early-learning/the-fundamentals-of-early-learning.php
De Jager, M., 2012, Baby Gym: brain and body gym for babies, Metz Press, South Africa.
Doman, G. & Doman, J., 2005, How to multiply your baby’s intelligence: The gentle revolution, Square One Publishers, Canada.
Van der Meer, A., 2017, "Babies Exposed to Stimulation Get Brain Boost”, Science Daily, 2 January 2017.