Young children, regardless of their age, learn best through play and exploration. Providing a variety of opportunities for them to explore starting at birth is crucial.
For example: This is a ten-month-old exploring paint. There was very little guidance from mom. The child was able to open up her senses and explore the paint with her entire body. She used her fingers, toes, tummy, knees, nose, mouth, etc. By the end of the activity she was covered in paint from head to toe and may have even tried tasting a little. She quickly realized it did not taste very good!
As a parent this type of activity may seem a bit overwhelming at first. However, starting with a small activity will make the bigger and messier exploration activities seem painless and easy.
Click here for more information on the importance of play.