Friday, January 28, 2011

On and Off

One of Sweetpea's new favorite things to do is turn lights on and off.  I have been showing her how since she was about four months old but now she can do it by herself if I hold her close enough to the switch.  Buddy loved doing this as a baby and still loves to turn lights on and off when he can reach.  There are days when I stand at her door for five minutes and let her turn the light on and off. 

Some of you are probably wondering why in the world I would teach them about the light switch at such a young age.  My reasoning is that it teaches them to interact with the world around them in a cause and effect manner.  Flip the switch up, the light comes on...flip it down, the light goes off, amazing to a child.  As Sweetpea is playing with the switch, I am narrating what she is doing with the words, "On, off, up, down".  These are opposite words and very tangible to understand with this activity.  While not the most ecologically- conscious or 'green' thing to do, it is an easy way to help children understand the concepts of "on and off" and "up and down".  I also show Sweetpea the sign language for these words and for "light". 

Even the simplest, everyday thing for adults, like turning lights on and off, can help an infant learn and better understand and interact with the world around them.  Sweetpea's exuberant smile as she accomplishes turning off a light is so priceless to me and just shows me that she is loving this learning opportunity.

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