The Essential Role of Activity in Infancy
Exploration for an infant means discovering anything about that environment. If that infant needs an opportunity to be brought to them, that's okay. Let an infant explore through their senses, whether it's touch, or smell, or taste, or sight, or hearing. If it causes chaos and creates a big mess, then chances are its exploration. Any kind of activity where it goes from order to complete chaos is going to be exploration. Trial and error, cause and effect give the opportunity to fail and give the opportunity to succeed. This kind of exploration will cause their brain to learn.
There are different kinds of movement that are valuable in infant learning:
- Self-directed movement - There are easy ways where you can promote self-directed movement even in a child who's not actively moving. Self-directed can mean many things. It's not just an infant swatting or kicking at a mobile.
- Infant-directed movement - This can mean an infant directing their parent to go explore something. Imagine an infant strapped on to their parent's chest. They can express where they want to go. The parent just needs to be attuned to where the infant is trying to go or what the infant wants.
You can promote self-directed movement in a child, even if you have to be their arms and legs. Most important things about activity is that it lets infants make social and emotional connections with their parents, their caregivers, the people around them. That type of activity will last them forever.
"Most important things about activity is that it lets infants make social and emotional connections with their parents, their caregivers, the people around them."