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Ways to help a child's development
A child's development starts from birth and with their senses; gradually they see different shapes, colour etc., hearing is stimulated by music, sounds in their surrounding etc. and they will gradually be able to recognise different voices. They also learn by touch, starting with cuddles and contact with other people.
There are many toys available that are designed to stimulate whilst in use; these include those that makes different sounds including music, have moving parts or combine different textures e.g. smooth and ridged plastic or a combination of fabrics such as velvet, fur, leather, suede, wool etc. Take a look at our article on how to choose the best toy for each age group.
Purpose made teethers are useful as and when babies start teething and it is never to early to start looking at fabric or board books. Even though they will not understand they will soon be aware of the bright colours and feel of the book and it creates a source for the 'reader' to introduce words and, thereby, increase vocabulary over time. It is also a very good excuse to enjoy a cuddle and spent precious time with the infant.
It is, however, not necessary to spend money in order to encourage a child's development as there are a vast number of household items which can be used but safety must be paramount; choose items that pose no threat of choking (as we all know babies and children explore everything with their mouths) also look out for sharp edges e.g. a broken plastic, disposable cup can have sharp edges as can a sheet of paper).
When we were young (many years ago) we were given upturned saucepans, wooden spoons and clothes pegs (amongst other things) but things have changed considerably since those days.
When playing outside they can be allowed to feel the grass, large stones, sand, and a small amount of water in a container into which they can place their fingers to feel the water (with supervision).
If they are being supervised you can make 'musical' instruments by placing dried pasta into sealed plastic container for them (or you) to shake.
Learning can be fun for both child and parent and, in my opinion, it is the time spent together that is most valuable for both parties.
Safety should always be paramount where babies/children are concerned and, therefore, use supervision and caution at all times to ensure the child remains injury free.
Check for any small, loose parts that could cause choking and ensure there are no sharp edges.
Toys should be kept clean especially if they are being shared with others or if your child has been ill.
Thank you BCWWV
Courtesy of a 27 year old mum who is a paramedic by trade. Many thanks.
Thanks to Jill Swigart for this one.
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