In their publication, scientists from New York University mentioned that the influence of play and tactile interaction with objects is necessary for a young child to develop and adapt, but previous research was carried out in a laboratory setting. This means that children were only able to play with pre-selected objects and not at home. For the first time, the authors of the new study assessed how and with what a child plays during the day in their “environment.”
To participate in the study, the researchers invited parents of babies aged one, one and a half and two years, a total of 40 children. Specialists twice came to each family and during the day recorded on a video camera how and with what the child was playing, giving him full freedom of choice. Scientists were interested in any interaction of children with objects, be they toys or household items. Only touching one’s body, parents and animals was not taken into account.
The authors of the study found that infants spend at least 60% of their daily activities studying and playing with various objects. It is noteworthy that rubbish bins, boxes, remote controls, cabinet doors and other objects “uninteresting” from the point of view of adults occupy them no less than toys. According to scientists, this suggests that for a child’s learning, the study of any subject is no less important than the most modern educational games.
“Our research provides an unprecedented picture of infants’ spontaneous interactions with objects around them. Any activity of a child should be considered as a program for studying the properties and functions of objects, since it contributes to the development of the motor, cognitive, social and linguistic spheres, ”the scientists say.