motleymuse ([info]motleymuse) wrote,
@ 2005-05-06 10:55:00
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My baby registry
I've been looking through my baby registry to check out the developmental value of the toys and other stuff I'm registered for. The world is so exciting from a baby's perspective! Here are some highlights:

Baby's First Toys: This is a huge assortment of brightly-colored baby-safe objects, from letter-shaped teethers to rattles and crinkly animals. I think the greatest value in this set is that there are so many objects in it. Piaget would love it--a very young baby in the earliest sensorimotor stage needs to experience as great a variety of colors, shapes, textures, etc. as possible to learn about the world. These toys are small enough for even a very small baby to hold onto, and begin to learn the difference between objects and herself. About half of the items here also provide some sort of interactive experience--rattling, moving parts, crinkling, etc. I think this set will be one of the first things our baby is able to play with, before she's old enough for the more complex toys.

Einsten Number Blocks: OK, so I do realize that our baby won't be reading the numbers and words for some years. Even so, these blocks are just great for the developing infant, and are sized especially well for a sitting baby to pick up and move around. These are potentially more interactive than Baby's First Toys, with different pictures/words/numbers on each side of each block, as well as a number of interactive features like a grabbable tiger tail, rattles, and bells. Baby-safe soft blocks are a great way to learn about cause and effect (a primary goal of the sensorimotor stage, right?) because you can toss them, stack them and knock them over, etc. One Amazon reviewer said that these also seemed to encourage large movement in her baby because they will roll away from the baby a little, but not as far as a ball, which will roll too far for the baby to get it herself.

LeapStart Learning Table: This one is for our baby once she starts to sit (legs can be removed so it can be used on the floor), and pull up to standing (put legs back on!). I'm realizing looking through these toys that in the sensorimotor stage, great toys are really all variations of the same thing--lots of textures, colors, etc. and plenty of opportunities to examine cause and effect. The LeapStart table is much more complex than the other toys, but it's based on the same principles. Depending on the operating mode the parent selects, activating parts of the table through buttons and other devices will produce sound effects, music, or words. Younger babies can enjoy just pressing the different buttons to see what happens, while older babies and toddlers can start to learn more advanced concepts like how the notes move on the little piano keyboard. Does that adorable little kid come with it, I wonder?

Crib CD Player: As a musician, I can't forget the developmental importance of sound and music! Of course, our baby is already being exposed to music day in and day out, but from most accounts of other musician-parents, it seems likely that music will comfort our baby even more than most since that's what she'll be used to. Though the "Mozart Effect" research (or lack thereof) is currently getting a bad rep, numerous studies have shown that most musicians and great music appreciators were exposed to a lot of good music as babies. It's not just the old boy's network that created the great musical families. Plus, musical intelligence has been shown to be deeply connected to mathematical (logical-mathematical, according to Howard Gardner) intelligence. And if it helps the baby sleep, who cares? :=)

So that's just a small sample of our registry... I'm starting to think our baby will be a bit overstimulated!

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2005-05-12 23:25 (link)
So you are expecting a baby girl or boy? I like what you were talking about because my girlfriends sister is expecting a baby boy and she kept talking about a " Baby Registry" and I didn't know what that specifically meant until know. So I wish you good luck. And keep us posted.

(Reply to this) (Thread)

2005-05-13 18:39 (link)
Hi rudy24! Our baby's gender is still a mystery... on two ultrasounds he/she was turned at a bad angle and the tech couldn't tell, though at the second one, the nurse said she was _pretty_ sure it's a girl. We're not counting on it, though! Oh well, we really wanted our baby stuff to be as gender neutral as possible, so not knowing if it's a boy or a girl will keep us from getting any of the really gender-specific baby gifts!

(Reply to this) (Parent)

2005-05-13 17:23 (link)
Nice selection, Joanna. Although I am among the many who bash the "Mozart Effect" research, there is a great deal of worth in music for children. A nice appreciation of this can be seen in a recent SCIAM article. I will bring a copy in for you next week if you are interested.

Might I also suggest Kids are Worth It! by B. Coloroso.


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Music and babies
2005-05-13 18:45 (link)
Hi there! Thanks for your comment. I'd love to see the article. One pet peeve of many music educators (including myself) is that in this day and age the funding of music education has to be defended with non-musical/artistic outcomes--such as music improving math, etc., rather than by its own worth as part of a complete education (which _should_ include the creative and emotional development of a child, not just "IQ" skills). The fact that participation in musical performance (not just listening to Mozart) has been shown to improve students' logical-mathematical thinking should be thought of as a cool side effect, not the goal. Oh well, it's hard to expect people to support the funding of musical education in schools when core subjects such as science are getting the boot in elementary schools.

(Reply to this) (Parent)

Your baby and music
2005-05-27 23:55 (link)
My 2 cents: Toys for babies are really just safer versions of regular household items.My son is now old enough to have developed his own musical taste and he loves The Clash...I wonder were he gets it? ;-) Our son used to sing to himself constantly when he was small.My first urge was to think that I wasn't providing enough musical stimulation,b ecause he had to make his own music, then I realized that given him the quiet space gave him room to fill it.Babies are pretty good at getting what they need, in a reasonable environment, their adaptive powers are breathtaking.
It was fun to hang out and talk with you and our other classmates today; I missed hearing Mr. Mike lecture, but I think it was a good psychology discussion/class today regardless of the cancellation.

We didn't let the doctors tell us if our son was a boy or a girl. It was nice to be suprised.You do have to remind them that they have to tell you when the baby is born because they are out of the habit of shouting out the gender of the child. I ended up screaming: "What is it?!!!" in a quite undignified manner.

I'm working on a free after school music and dance program for our school because I'm so appalled at how little emphasis is put on the "non-academic" subjects. It drives me a little crazy, so I'm getting people from the community to come in and teach.

Enjoy your baby!

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