What are the baby developmental skills that I keep hearing about?
You’ve probably seen product descriptions on toys that claim to help your baby develop various skills.
One of our most popular toys, the Plan Toys Baby Car, can help baby to develop hand eye co-ordination, visual skills and fine motor skills. But what exactly are these, and how can you help your baby develop these essential skills?
To see more on each of these crucial developmental skills, and specific ideas for helping your baby to develop these skills, click on each of the headings.
We’ll be adding a list of useful toys to this blog shortly, so be sure to check back!
Gross Motor Skills are large muscle movements and whole body movements, such as an infant learning to hold up her head, being able to sit up, and learning to walk.
Fine Motor Skills are skills using smaller muscles, such as those in the hands, fingers and thumbs. It’s these small movements that allow baby to pick up small objects in a pincher grip, and these skills are the building blocks for things like writing and getting dressed.
Visual cognition is the ability to see something and recognise and identify the object. This is the skill that baby needs to recognise familiar faces, and later to help them distinguish between colours, shapes and sizes.
Auditory skills are hearing skills. Hearing is one of the traditional five senses, and this ability affects the development of many other essential skills including speech, listening, learning and thinking.
Cause and effect is where children understand that their actions lead directly to an outcome or a response. In other words, if I do this, then this thing will happen.
Hand eye co-ordination combines visual skills and hand movements to complete a task. It requires the coordination of eye movement with hand movement, and processing visual input to guide the hand to reach and grasp while working out where the hand is in relation to other physical objects. In other words, a baby is learning to combine a whole bunch of skills into one seamless whole.
These are skills that lead to mathematical thinking, for example, about colour, size and shapes; about classifying and balance; and about numbers and counting; symmetry and balance.
Problem solving skills allow your baby to recognise a need and work out a way to fix it.
Music can help the development of lots of vital skills, including auditory, cause and effect, social skills and concentration.
Play helps children develop their creativity and imaginative skills, such as role play. Creative play provides opportunities for children to try out new ideas, as well as new ways of thinking and problem solving.
Copyright © Vanessa Layton 2013
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