After 5 and a half months, your baby is really into different shapes and colours.
Whenever he sees objects of colours and shapes that he has never seen, you just can’t stop him from staring at them, reaching arms out for that, or putting them into their mouths. What should you do?
[caption id="attachment_158216" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Curious babies love exploring by biting and sucking everything that comes within grasp.[/caption]
5-month-old babies love new shapes and colours
Since their fifth month, you should notice an increase in your babies’ visual awareness. They can now react to objects of different shapes and colours and are greatly intrigued by moving objects, causal connections and exploration games.
This implies a new developmental stage of your baby – a stage at which your baby shows a better response to external stimulation and starts trying something new. These new things are driving force for the nurture of babies’ curiosity.
Looking at novel shapes and colours are good for curiosity development
Curiosity is a term used to denote the psychological tendency of noticing, understanding how something works or questioning, triggered by novel things or environments. Such a tendency can be traced back to the newborn babies' exploratory reflex – once a baby discovers something new, he will touch it with hands or lick it.
However, babies' initial curiosity is only situational. It takes time and efforts for such curiosity to become a combination of cognition and emotion, and develop into a real curiosity. A real curiosity is a psychological process driving babies to actively approach stimulus. It triggers active thinking and investigation and generates a unique desire and expectation which promote babies' cognition and learning.
Encountering new colours and shapes is a novel sensory and motor experience nurturing babies’ curiosity. With adequate guidance and encouragement, the initial curiosity will transform into babies’ personality, which is helpful for their intellectual development.
The next question is: How to guide and encourage your baby to look at new colours and shapes to develop his curiosity? The answer is simple. Creating more opportunities for him to enjoy and be exposed to new things and activities. Moving objects and games relating to causal connections and exploration will be your perfect helpers.
- Nurture curiosity – Observing moving objects
Babies at this stage are easily intrigued by moving objects. This is important to their future vision development. Observing mobile objects offer babies a chance to practice his newly learnt skills, such as visual tracking, focusing, turning their heads, reaching their arms out, grasping, etc. Parents may take the opportunity to prepare mobile colourful bed rattles or ball-shaped toys for your baby, nurture his curiosity about colours and shapes with what he likes, and trigger his interest in cognition.
- Practice curiosity – Exploring objects of different shapes and texture
Exploration game is a good way to promote babies’ curiosity development. Babies’ curiosity is satisfied through practices and they thereby gain a sense of satisfaction, which are crucial for nurturing their curiosity. There is no need to stop babies’ exploratory behaviours at this stage. We may prepare some baby-friendly objects for the little explorers to bite and hit, allowing them to explore objects of different shapes and texture in a safe way.
Fisher-Price Stack & Discover Sensory Blocks Toy can be a good option. The colourful animal-themed toys are made with hard and soft PVC, together with the teether and sounds produced when playing, they are the best tools for babies’ exploration games, nurturing their curiosity growth.
Arouse curiosity – Figuring out causal connection in block games
5-month-old babies can manage to exercise their grasping skills and playing block games. They will witness the consequence of their actions when playing with the plastic blocks, such causal connections trigger their interest in knowing how things change and boost their curiosity. When your baby is ready for having a matching game with Fisher-Price's BABY'S FIRST BLOCKS, they will discover the colour and shape differences of the plastic blocks. This triggers their curiosity and drives them to study the causal connection.
[caption id="attachment_399714" align="aligncenter" width="554"] Image source: Fisher-Price[/caption]
Curiosity is the driving force for babies’ intellectual development, motivating babies’ continuous cognition and learning. The nurture of curiosity is a long journey. Parents should seize every opportunity to nurture babies’ curiosity and desire for knowledge at the early stage, as this is the key to their intellectual growth.
Parenting advice is given as a suggestion only. We recommend consulting your healthcare provider to know more.
This article was contributed by Fisher-Price and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
- Berton L. White (2016), The New First Three Years of Life, Beijing United Publishing Co., Ltd.
- Liu Yunyan, Research on the Development of Children's Curiosity and Education Promotion, 2004 Doctoral Dissertation of Southwest China Normal University.