Babies

Yes, you really can do science with babies.  Babies are working on two basic science skills, Observing and Predicting.

Observation uses the 5 senses, sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.  Babies are not born with a full working set, they develop over the first year.  This is not a bad design – it is actually protective, so they don’t have to deal with the full confusing world before they are ready.  At first, they are tightly focused on what will keep them alive – being close to their mother and food.  As they gain more control over their bodies their senses also start to reach out so they can explore.

Prediction sounds like a strange one to say they are focusing on, what can a baby predict?  But it is one of the first things they start to play with.  Hey! I wonder if gravity still works?  It worked in the cot, does it work over here too?  If I hit this saucepan, will I get a cool sound?  They’re not making you pick up that teddy for fun you know, it’s a scientific experiment.

Questions to ask your baby

  • “What can you see/hear/smell/feel?”
  • “What happened?”

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

kathleen March 6, 2012 at 10:26 am

this is ridiculous!! people want to know activities to do with their baby. not questions to ask your baby!! what baby can answer those questions?????? get a new job!!!

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Deb March 6, 2012 at 11:26 am

It sounds like you’re struggling and frustrated, I’m sorry. Having a baby can be tough. If you go up to ‘Posts’ then under Age click on Babies you’ll find lots of activities – this is a general introductory page to show you how to generate your own simple activities.

Of course babies don’t answer with words, but they are very good at communicating if you watch them. All babies can answer those questions with their body language and actions. And it’s important to talk to them, not just because that’s how they learn to talk and judge emotions but most mum’s like having someone to talk to.

For example, when your baby hits a rattle or noisy toy for the first time, they react. That’s when you ask them what they can hear. If they hit it again, they’re answering you. You talking to them gives them the words.
Or when they knock their bowl on the floor, that’s when you ask what happened – it’s their introduction to gravity. Putting it up for them and having them knock or throw it down again is the game – they are predicting then testing that it will fall down again. Games they can explore are more fun for everyone than concentrating on the mess you have to clean up.

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Jackie March 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Deb,
I think it’s fantastic to begin asking questions of your child when they are a baby.
Of course, they haven’t developed the vocabulary and speech to answer yet but you are modelling the process and helping to assist in their language, awareness, reasoning and comprehension.

And we know that babies understand much more than they can say.

I’m loving your site and your suggestions.

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Deb March 16, 2012 at 11:07 am

Thankyou :D

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Sarah August 2, 2012 at 10:12 am

I have browsed through your web page and agree that talking to one’s baby is good interaction and promotes speech development, as well as environmental awareness. However, I also agree with Kathleen that the title of your page (even under the “Babies” drop down menu) does not offer science experiments for babies, toddlers or children.
I was disappointed that there wasn’t even a simple cornstarch and water experiment or celery stalk in coloured water activity as guidance for parents to introduce their child to science.

Your site has potential and might be useful to parents who might not have much parenting skills or knowledge of child development.
Good luck with your endeavors. ~Sarah

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