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February 10, 2017

A lot of people tend to think that learning occurs mainly in school or from reading books to children, but in fact, the very capacity to learn, to absorb and retain information, discern patterns and explore the world, is starting in the first months of life.

A human being’s most rapid growth and development take place during his first twenty-four months: as an infant and a toddler. Children who live in an environment that lacks stimuli, interactions and learning opportunities, during this important period, will not develop in the same way as children who live in ‘enriched environments’ with caring and responsive parents. Since babies collect information through their senses, the ‘enriched environments’ will enhance brain development and will help them have keener senses and better muscle coordination and development.

During the early months of your baby’s life, make sure you get to know your baby and let them get to know you and learn about their new world. Give them time to study your face, hear your voice and enjoy being near you. Spend time with your baby and interact with him through various games and activities. You can build a foundation of special, shared times by relating through games played together. In this way, you will boost your baby’s cognitive, social and motor development.


You can help your baby’s cognitive development by providing repeated interactions with others as well as with objects. During the first two years, the baby begins to perceive cause-effect relationships, such as ‘loud noise happens when I drop the toy on the floor’. With regard to the baby’s social development, have in mind that the most important aspect of it, is the formation of the attachment between the infant and the parent. A baby who forms a good attachment to the parent will be better able to have positive relationships with others during later stages of development. Lastly, of all the areas of child development, physical development or motor development is the one area of development, which is most visible.

During the first two years, children also grow remarkably in size and motor control; a child grows from a small infant who has little control over his bodily movements into a young child capable of crawling, walking, running, and using his eyes, hands and fingers together to perform intricate movements such as putting puzzles together. When babies begin to move from place to place, a safe environment becomes important. Get down on the child’s level and take a good look at what he sees. From that perspective, you can make the environment as safe and interesting as possible. Remember: providing a stimulus-rich, caring and safe environment is crucial for proper brain growth and development, as these early experiences begin to establish important neuronal connections in the brain. Don’t just stimulate your baby with exciting mobiles, rattles, music boxes and other toys; communicate and interact with him through a variety of fun games.


CASTLE, K., 1999. The infant and toddler handbook: Invitations for optimum learning development. USA: Humanics Limited.

GREENSPAN, S., 1999. Building healthy minds: the six experiences that create intelligence and emotional growth in babies and young children. New York: Da Capo Press.

LANSKY, V., 2001. Games babies play: from birth to twelve months. 2nd ed. Excelsior: Book Peddlers.

YOUNG, C., 2009. Entertaining and educating babies and toddlers. Usborne Publishing.

What games do you play with your baby?

Category: articles, Uncategorized



About the author



Eva Sakellaridi is an education consultant and a researcher at the University College London (UCL), Institute of Education (IoE). She has a BA in English Language and Literature (2006), a Diploma in TESOL (2010) and a Certificate in Educational Psychology (2011). She also holds a MA in Education with Distinction from the University of Bath (2014). Among Eva’s main broad fields of interest are character education, educational psychology, school leadership and school improvement. Prior to becoming an education consultant, Eva worked in a range of public and private, preschool, primary and secondary educational organisations, universities and charities in a variety of capacities including classroom teacher, remedial teacher, student mentor, education programme manager and deputy school manager. Throughout her teaching career, she has observed that most children acquire academic skills more effortlessly and quicker compared to lifelong skills and has witnessed many and various cases of parental anxiety and concern about children’s character development and learning. As a result, Eva has always used scientific research to explore and personalise old and new pedagogical methods to empower both children and their parents.

Penelope’s Loom


Welcome to “Penelope’s Loom”! This is the name of our collection of educational articles that includes only research-based information on education, educational psychology and parenting, taken from sources such as scientific publications, reviews of research and government reports. Our aim is to offer our readers objective, authentic, scholarly information in a clear and simple way. If you would like to learn more about any of the themes tackled in our articles, feel free to contact us at and we will send you an e-copy of the references and/or further readings.


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