- Early stimulation is known to build neural pathways in the brain; early experiences shape not only the child’s ability to learn but also his attitude towards himself and others.
- Many of the exhibits in the Toddler Pit engage children in activities that promote eye-hand coordination. Reaching for objects, placing balls in holes, and doing puzzles all require a child’s brain to use information received through the eyes to direct the movement of the hands.
- While playing with the ball run, children are practicing visual tracking skills as their eyes follow the balls down the track. Tracking is essential to healthy eye muscle development and a necessary skill used later in learning to read.
- While playing with the Dancing Doll and Cascade Tower, children are listening to the rhythms of the sounds as the doll and cars move down the tracks. Hearing these rhythms helps children recognize sound patterns and discriminate changes in sound quality.
SUPPORT CHILDREN BY…
… not pushing them to interact with other children. As part of the learning process, a very young child may intently watch from a distance as other children play. S/he may stand next to other children and imitate their behaviors but not play with them. The child is not being unsociable but is engaged in parallel play, a developmentally appropriate behavior for this age.