We all want the best for our children. It’s the most natural human instinct, the thing that drives us as parents, teachers and carers. And part of that is wanting our children to learn.
Encouraging children to learn should not be about pushing and cajoling. It can be about encouraging and making learning fun, even from a very early age.
Why start learning early?
When a baby is born their brain is still developing. It can’t do all the things that an adult’s brain can – if it could then between their smarts and their cuteness the babies would be ruling the world.
But there’s a serious point here, beyond the image of a prime minister in a nappy. The brains of infants are just starting down the path towards adulthood. They are developing the basic structures that will set them up for life, and the right sort of stimulation can set them on a path to a bright future.
Accounts from parents and academics such as J. Richard Gentry show the benefits of nurturing and educating your child from early on, helping them to develop skills such as eyesight and communication and encouraging learning habits for the rest of their lives. Glenn Doman has built a whole organisation, the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, on this principle of helping children to learn.
Why visual stimulation?
Visual stimulation has several benefits.
Firstly, it’s something that a baby can benefit from very early in life. They may not be able to talk or walk yet, but they can look at pictures. Their wide, wondering gazes show how much pleasure and benefit they take from looking at the world around them. Deliberate visual stimulation can only add to that pleasure.
Secondly, it’s fun. Your child gets to learn through pictures, their brain and their eyes practicing working with the world.
Thirdly, it’s easy. Any child can join in, and all you have to do is show them the images and enjoy watching their reaction. It’s a low effort way of helping your child to learn.
Why black, white and red?
Many people with experience in this area, both experts and parents, recommend black, white and red flashcards as a way to encourage development.
Like our brains, our eyes don’t start out fully formed and functional. Babies have trouble differentiating between colours, but it’s easier for them to distinguish between those with high contrast. Black, white and red provide this contrast – bold colours that stand out and grab your child’s attention.
Flashcards with clear, simple pictures in black, white and red will provide accessible visual stimulation from an early age, allowing your child to start learn straight away. However, paper flashcards are expensive and troublesome. That’s why we’ve created the Infant Visual Stimulation App, exclusively on the App Store!