Last time we shared a video clip of a baby being entertained by an “interactive learning” videogame. Now we invite you to watch another clip, which shows a very different kind of interaction and learning.
This video struck us as a beautiful example of teaching, play, and family bonding. In contrast with the Fisher Price method, the baby being read to is interacting with a human being, and so she’s hearing and practicing language. The family is building a close relationship by snuggling together and sharing an experience they can talk about together. (A beaming Daddy is most likely holding the camera.)
The little girl being read to is thinking, learning, and creating pathways in her brain for information gathering and creativity. She’s also developing prereading skills: holding a book right side up, turning pages one at a time, reading from left to right, using illustrations to support meaning. Her mother is thinking creatively too as she teaches and entertains her daughter, and by giving all her attention to this moment she’s establishing a pattern of true interaction and communication.
Meanwhile, the baby in the woman’s womb is able to hear the voices of its mother and big sister, becoming familiar with them and even listening to the rhymes and rhythms of the story. So the baby-to-be is already absorbing the workings of human language, not to mention the sounds of fun and love! These children are primed for success—as readers, as students, and as happy members of a closely bonded family.
Please think about what you’ve observed in these two videos and share your impressions with us.