Learn! Baby! Learn!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at Wednesday, October 07, 2009
My brilliant father-in-law, Rich, sent me a fabulous e-mail asking if there were any books about what babies need to be taught on a month by month, then year by year basis. I have read "What's Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life" by Lise Eliot (and I highly highly recommend this book, even if you are not of a science persuasion). But this aforementioned book does not really go into great depths about what to teach an infant/toddler, based on what they can developmentally grasp. Instead Dr. Eliot simply, but accurately explains how the brain develops. However, I would love to know what are the best age appropriate toys/activities. I know that anyone can walk into Target and buy a toy based on age. However, I am not convinced that this is necessary. Some of the toys Conner has found to be entertaining (and I am sure educational) have been items from around the house (i.e. that our wooden cooking spoon, when banged against a tupperware container, makes a noise).

I have found a bunch of websites that basically just say talking and reading to your baby is the best thing to do. Does anyone know of a book that has great suggestions for how to stimulate and encourage age appropriate development? Any input would be very much appreciated.

Also, Conner has become a bit bored with his current selection of toys and we need to invest in more. Any suggestions for toys/activities we can buy that an almost 9 month old would love?

And if there are no books...hmm...I have always wanted to write a book...but must must must finish grad school first!


  1. NeuronMommy Says:

    I feel kind of dorky commenting on my own blog, but, well who doesn't already think I am a dork anyway? I did some deeper searching (now that Conner is napping) and found two books that look interesting. Has anyone heard/read these? If so, what is your opinion?

    "Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn-- And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less"

    "Bright From the Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind fromBirth to Age 3"

    If anyone has these, can I borrow them to read?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Hi, I am grandma Margaret I work with grandma Leslie, I found with both of my boys that they enjoyed playing with household objects as well. Also enjoyed were boxes, cups, and bowls to put things in and take things (Cheerios) out of. Any thing they can manipulate without getting frustrated. There are a number of toys that my grandchildren had that have mirrors and push buttons and sliding thing, makes noises or things pop up etc. I found it was better to buy toys "a little older" so that they would play with them longer and not get bored. When he is older (12 to 18 months or so) lots of building blocks and cars and trucks and a little wagon to carry them around. My boys would spend hours building buildings and towns etc. Also the large Duplo building sets (similar to Lego but much larger). The best toys are ones that the child needs to use their imagination to play with. We accidentally taught my oldest granddaughter to read by the time she was 4 because we read to her (a lot). Dr. Seuss, Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear from an early age. Some children enjoy books early some don't. A little age appropriate TV or videos are OK but just talking to them is better. Just a general dialogue of what you are doing is good, "mommy is going to fix dinner, what do you think I should cook?" You never know how much a small person understands and it helps them develop a vocabulary and ability to put words and actions together. Boys are usually not as early talkers as girls but every child is different.

  3. Jessica Says:

    I read "baby minds" by Linda Acredolo which was more fun stimulating games to play and also Gymboree has a Baby Play book. These are both activities not toys so I know I didn't answer your question fully but I think we would just put things in front of Sheena and see how she responded no matter what the age range.

    I also really enjoyed "Child's Play: Montessori Games and Activities for Your Baby and Toddler"by Maja Pitamic I worked in a book store during pregnancy and would read and read and read! I reccommend checking books out of the library rather than buying them until you know for sure how useful it will be to you!!

  4. Jackie Says:

    I liked Dr. Eliot's book, but I was reading it whilst knee-deep in dissertation stuff, so it was like reading basic stuff and I couldn't really get into it. I agree though -- it doesn't tell you much on what to *do* with your kid.

    When my daughter was 9 months old, it was mostly books and toys and cuddling (and dissertation writing, ha.). Also, the occasional play date with other people and their kids, but at that age it was more for *me* than for her. But definitely, I think socializing with other kids helps them learn things that they might be ready for, but just not know it yet, because of the environment you have in your own home. It's more about motor development at that stage, anyway, right?

    By the way, I need your email address so I can invite you to my blog, which is private.

  5. Amber Says:

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