During the first three years, children are learning about spatial relationships – or how things fit together – and use this skill to solve everyday problems.
Thinking skills – such as understanding cause and effect, how things fit together, classification, and symbolic thinking – begin developing in baby’s earliest days.
Promote curiosity and exploration by allowing your child to discover what your child sees and does:
• Describe the quantity, weight, and shape of objects using descriptive words such as, big, small, in, out, more, less, heavy, light, round, or squared.
• Your child learns that actions produce a response when he lets go of an item and youpick it up for him. He is learning cause and effect and might be thinking, “If I drop this rattle, somebody will pick it up.” Stimulate experimentation using items found at home:
• Your child can use pots, lids, or plastic containers and practice putting one inside the other.
• Provide objects that your child can rip or bang
in order to explore how they work.
• Remember to include your child’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins during play
Facilitate the development of problem-solving skills and persistence:
• Provide only the necessary help to allow your child to solve difficult tasks. For example, stay close when your child is putting on her shoes but do not take over when you observe her struggling.
• Offer to help, and allow your child to seek your help comfortably when he needs it.
• Encourage your child to keep trying and not
give up when she performs a challenging activity or struggles building a tower of blocks.
Encourage imaginary play:
• Offer boxes, old clothing, and everyday objects
that you no longer use for your child to practice pretend play with other children.
• Inspire your child to pretend that an old box is
a new car to build symbolic thinking.