My six month old grandson, Ryker, is a self-motivated learning machine. He’s on an epic quest to know the world. He’s nothing special in this regard. Like other healthy babies, he’s always been active in managing his own learning, but over the last month or so he’s become much more mobile and in control of his body. That means he’s having a bigger impact on his physical space and the people around him.
For instance, he’s learned how to wave. He’s found the frantic flapping of his little arm when someone enters his field of vision is a very powerful tool. His waves invite engagement. They start conversations. They bring snuggles and hugs and attention.
His ability to wave has also brought him closer to new tastes–he waves at people and he waves vigorously at people with food. That’s led to encounters with lemons, bacon, and other yummy things.
Speaking of things, he’s also now able to get to Things. His not-really-crawling-but-it-works-for-him manner of locomotion has made it possible for him to explore previously uncharted worlds. It’s amazing to watch.
His eager engagement with his environment and love of learning reminded me of this great post from Janet Lansbury.
How do you help support babies as learners?
What do you find frustrating about self-motivated infants?