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Babies 0-12 Months | Stimulation and Development

Stimulate your child through play-and-learn activities

The biggest and longest-lasting gift you can give your child is your time. Baby stimulation will assist in helping your baby grow and develop mentally and physically to his peak potential. Your baby’s intelligence is not fixed at birth; early stimulation has an immensely powerful effect on intellectual development.


 A baby is most receptive to learning during the first 18 months of its life and will learn things very easily up to the age of 3 or 4. During the first three years the completion of neural circuits in the brain need appropriate stimulation. This stimulation is critical in shaping future development, and sadly, deprivation of stimulation in these years has an irreversible effect on intelligence.

Building one’s brain power can be compared to building muscle power – both need plenty of exercise. The difference is that when you stop going to gym, the muscles will return to normal, and to regain the muscle power will mean starting from scratch. But with brain development, the gift of early appropriate stimulation is a gift for life.

Play and developmental stimulation must be totally stress-free and fun for both you and your child. You cannot make a baby or toddler pay attention, you need the child to want to pay attention, and this involves learning through fun and play.

What you do is critical in brain development. The brain responds directly to the type of stimulus it receives.
Research shows for instance that practicing the piano very quickly thickens neurons in the region of the brain that control the fingers and develops the hippocampus; a brain structure involved in memory.

  • Painting and drawing will strengthen the part of the brain involved in creative thinking.
  • Building puzzles strengthens analytical thinking.
  • Playing memory games will help his academic ability.
  • Playing ball games will build his co-ordination and sporting ability.

No activity is wasted, as long as the child is enjoying it you will be building brain-power through stimulation. Obviously though, some activities are more beneficial than others. Learning is most likely to occur when:

  • The child is praised for his achievements
  • He is given freedom to explore
  • The adult displays confidence in his abilities
  • The adult accepts some mess
  • The child is interacted with e.g. spoken to, read to and told stories
  • The child is allowed time for free-play
  • The child is allowed contact with other children
  • The child is encouraged to explore and play make believe
  • The child is encouraged appropriately in language development


  • Children do not learn to talk by watching T.V.
  • Learning to talk requires a responsive partner
  • Learning to talk requires lots of interaction
  • T.V. can impede development

It’s never too soon to start!

Reference: Material supplied by Educare

2 Responses to “Stimulate your child through play-and-learn activities”

  1. CT De Reuck says:

    Thank you for some of the nice tips. Is there by any chance
    that I can get more info on child learning and at what age he/she must learn what and should develope in what field at what age.

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