Our child has passed the 5 month mark, and we’ve been watching her play. It’s fascinating to watch what she finds interesting, and how she plays with things. Everything is interesting to her, right down to chair legs (which apparently taste good).
While we call it play, she’s busy learning about the world, and she approaches it like a little scientist. For example, we bought her a bunch of squeezy coloured balls. She’d come up to them, look, touch, prod, push, and watch what happens. Ooh, it rolled away! That’s exciting.
Like a scientist, she’ll repeat experiments to see if she gets consistent results. Sometimes her concentration is intense, at which point it’s best for us parents to stand back and avoid distracting her.
Eventually, she learnt how to grab hold of the smaller balls. After that came the next step of experimentation… what does it taste like. This is the experiment that we wish she’d skip, but know she won’t. “Is this food?” is such a natural question, and sticking things in her mouth helps her learn about shape and feel just as much as taste. As parents, this has us going round cleaning everything she might touch as often as possible.
Similar experimentation is done with her legs and arms. Her latest experiments are all about seeing if she can move faster with her tummy lifted of the floor instead of sliding over the floor. She hasn’t quite figured out crawling yet, but has definitely succeeded in moving faster. The safety gates we ordered arrived just in time…
Some experiments give undesirable results, like the ones that ended with her suddenly rolling onto her back and bumping her head on the floor. Those are usually accompanied with some cries of frustration. After a little comforting, she’ll be back with an updated experiment, aiming for a more useful outcome.
It’s a joy watching her experiment and learn, although we wish she’d focus on eating when she’s being fed. Her curiosity and desire to learn is infectious. It’s a great reminder to us grown-ups to keep looking at the world around us curiosity and a desire to know more.
Cover photo credit: Image by Margaret Martin.