A child’s mind, between the ages 3 to 10 is like a sponge.
It means that the child’s mental ability to absorb information is unlimited. This has been backed up with scientific studies establishing that by age of 4, a child’s brain is more than twice as active as an adult’s. Also, the stimulation provided to a child at that age significantly contributes to the eventual growth of his/her brain. Which translates to, before a child is actually “taught” something, he/she is already at an advanced stage of “learning”.
Right from infancy, children observe every action around them, and gradually mimic them. Aren’t your baby’s first words a parroting of your own? Doesn’t he pick up your mannerism and expressions? Of course, this aspect comes forth in the most unexpected situations.
Case in point: I settled back on the couch after handing my 3-year-old the iPad for his 15-minute gadget quota for the evening. A deft swipe on the device turned my attention on her again. I watched her as she sought out the YouTube icon and clicked on her favorite cartoon series from the viewing history. The video began to play, as usual with an advertisement. Just as I peered into the screen to ensure that the content was nothing inappropriate, she gave one impatient tap on the “Skip Ad” prompt and the advertisement was done away with. It was like watching a mini-me in action! Who “teaches” a toddler to do that?
Needless to say, the most powerful stimulus is visual observation. What a child “sees”, he finds it easier to relate and establish an identity with than something he has been “told” about. For example, showing a child a picture of a polar bear living in the Arctic regions versus “explaining” the presence of such a creature. The visual representation comes closest to seeing in person, but is there anything to sweeten the deal? Augmented Reality, of course. Stay tuned to read about how Shifu brings Augmented Reality to the reach of preschoolers to make the learning fun!
Does your kid mimic your actions often? Tell us about the funniest moments…