|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Unlike hearing, baby’s sight develops slowly over the first 6 to 8 months of its life. This is not due to eye development, which doesn’t change, but brain development which is responsible for processing everything the eye is seeing. At first, young babies find it hard to distinguish between similar colours and tones and find high contrast images easier to see. At first they may prefer looking at black and white images, but quickly, as their sight develops, they also love to watch bright colours and contrasting patterns and they should be given lots of opportunity to look at colour. At first a baby’s brain is not sufficiently developed for them to follow objects with their eyes. Very young babies often go cross eyed when trying to do so! But around 5 months they are able to watch things that move quickly.
A variety of props or toys (at least four in each bag) contained in a bag. One bag between four babies is fine.
Two to three weeks
How it works
This is about providing babies with bags full of visually stimulating props and toys which they can explore with their adult. You could theme each bag each week, e.g.
- Black and white – put in black and white toys, black and white flash cards, items with black and white patterns on
- Colour – put in lots of colourful objects, such as scarves, toys, rainbow windmills, plastic bottles filled with colourful sequins or glitter (glue the tops on firmly)
- Visual surprises – magnifying classes, metal spoons, kaeldiscopes, plastic snowglobes, light up flashing balls, jack in the boxes, finger puppets
- Parents can be encouraged to explore the objects in social groups.
- High contrast pictures can be printed and laminated for the bags – http://lovinglearning.com/babies/high-contrast-images-for-babies/
- High contrast toys and rattles
What to do in the class
Ask the parents to split in to social groups of up to four, give each group a bag to explore with their babies. Play some gentle background music during the exploration and circulate with each group to engage with the parents and babies.
Adaptations for older/younger children
No adaptation is necessary
What to do in a nursery setting
Encourage the staff to work with the babies on a one to one basis with the props