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?”