We all know that young children learn through watching the world around them. But did you also know that your child, no matter what age are always learning by observing your behaviour? Without explicit instructions most children know how to do things like press a button to turn a light on or pull down a handle to open a door, all through observing others! 
 
There are many more examples of this, you may notice your child imitating talking on the phone, dancing to music or pretending to cook in a make-believe kitchen. Your child is learning how things work and how to use things by observing you and people around them. 
 
This also brings caution however, because children (especially from 3 years) are incredibly good at imitating behaviours you may not want them too! 
Helping your child learn through looking can be interesting and fun for them, here’s some activities you can do with your child: 
 
• Look at interesting things such as birds, animals, plants, trees, mobiles, shells, stones, boxes, tubes, mirrors, tell your child what each thing is, explain the details. 
• Read books! Babies and young children enjoy looking at books, they will watch as you turn the pages and look at the pictures and words. 
• Pull some funny faces! Babies and toddlers love looking at your face. Observe them as they carefully watch your eyes and mouth, they love seeing the different movements of muscles in your face and may even pull a funny face back! 
• Dress-Up and Role Play! Dressing up helps children to begin to make sense of the adult world, roles, and interests, as well as boosting social interaction. They will learn through watching you pretending to be a police office or a doctor and will see all the different poses and facial expressions you use. 
 
Affection is also learnt through watching you! As a parent, you naturally nurture, hug, sing to, kiss, snuggle and otherwise show your feelings for your little one and your child will mimic this loving behaviour back to you and towards others. 
 
Remember, you are your child’s first teacher. Our children watch and learn from us every day so set a great example for them and they will learn how to act in the world around them. 
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