How Babies Learn - Birth to 8 Months Old

What Do Young Babies Do? Learning to read
  • Respond to their names
  • Enjoy listening to stories
  • Smile when people smile at them
  • Pick up objects with their fingers and thumbs
  • Move objects from one hand to the other
  • Cry, make other sounds, and move their bodies
  • Listen and respond to the sounds and voices around them
  • Coo, gurgle, laugh, and babble to themselves and others
  • Take turns while singing and playing with another person
How Do Young Babies Learn?
Katie is in the bathtub splashing in the water with both hands. Her father sits on the floor next to the tub making sure she is safe. "Katie, Katie," he says as he picks up a washcloth. "Are you ready to play our special game?"

Katie looks up and sees her father's smiling face. She smiles at him and laughs. He says, "Let's play Peek-a-Boo,"; and puts a washcloth in front of his face. Katie reaches out and pats the top of his head. Her father says, "Peek-a-Boo, Katie, I can't see you." He lowers the washcloth so his eyes are no longer covered. Katie squeals with delight. He covers his eyes again and says, "Peek-a-Boo, Katie, I still can't see you."

Katie's father holds the washcloth out toward her, saying, "Your turn, Katie." She takes the washcloth from his hand and puts it in front of her face. Her father says, "Where's Katie?"

Katie drops the washcloth in the water and splashes with her hands. She babbles to her father, "Dadadada. Babababa." He says, "I think you're saying that you're tired of playing Peek-a-Boo. Let's play with your sponges."

Baby learning activity

Like many young babies, Katie is learning about language:
- She knows that it's fun to play with another person.
- She looks up when her father says her name.
- She smiles when her father smiles at her.

Katie's father helps her learn about language:
- He talks with her during a daily activity - bathtime.
- He says her name again and again so that she will learn to recognize it.
- He takes several turns in their game - then encourages her to take a turn.
- He responds to her babbles as if he knows what she is saying.

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