Science (birth - 15 months)
Babies look at the world as little scientists. They are curious about everything in their world and want to know how things work. Babies are drawn to new and unexpected things and they become fascinated by how these things work and how they look, feel, smell, taste, and sound.
Babies explore with all their senses and their whole bodies—fingers, feet, and even mouths. Babies do not give up easily and will try something over and over again when something interesting happens. You might observe how fascinated a young baby is as he:
- Explores a new toy with his eyes, hands, fingers, and mouth
- Squishes a toy over and over again to make it squeak
- Swats or kicks a mobile and watches it move fast or slow
- Hits a drum hard and then soft over and over again to listen to the sound it makes
- Slaps a puddle of spilled milk on his tray until there is none left
Older babies like to solve problems they encounter and often find ways of making them harder. You might watch an older baby become fascinated by pushing a toy car over different surfaces or by retrieving a partially hidden toy only to turn around and hide it again. Each discovery builds new connections in a baby’s rapidly developing brain.
As an educator, you build babies’ brains—and their scientific thinking—when you offer them interesting items, materials, and processes to explore. Share your own enthusiasm as you explore the world together. Everything you show and share with a baby gives her information about her surroundings. Your loving care, encouraging words, and shared delight in her discoveries and accomplishments builds her confidence and allows her to continue to explore and learn more about her world.