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Science. SCIENCE!!!!
September 20, 2012 9:46 AM   Subscribe

Looking for child development milestones, with an emphasis on experiments, neural processing goobles, and mad science shenanigans! Tell me what weird experiments I can conduct with my child....

I really enjoy reading about how children develop their individual cognitive processes. It's especially interesting now that I have one of my own.

Here's some recent examples from Radiolab:
Innate Numbering, starting at minute 13 of that segment, about 2-year-olds and counting.

Why Isn't the Sky Blue?, about when the color blue got its name historically and then the little home experiment around the 15-minute mark about when the scientist's kid finally recognized the sky as "blue."
What kind of cool "experiments" could I be running or observing in my kid?
posted by amanda to Education (8 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
The book, What's Going On In There?, gives the full rundown on the science.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:51 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


The marshmallow test.
posted by true at 10:02 AM on September 20, 2012


Teach your baby sign language.
posted by Soliloquy at 10:49 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like Lise Eliot's What's Going On in There? as well as John Medina's Brain Rules for Baby. Eliot's book is much denser and science-y, which is perhaps why I find Medina's book more enjoyable to read. If you're interesting in gender differences (and similarities) Eliot's Pink Brain, Blue Brain is also fascinating.
posted by zoomorphic at 10:52 AM on September 20, 2012


Seconding Brain Rules for Baby. Great info and very easy to read. I am halfway through What's Going On In There and it is a bit dry and science-y, as zoomorphic said.

Milestones: you might want to look at The Wonder Weeks or Brazleton's Touchpoints.

I also really enjoyed Bright From The Start. Not much on experiments in there from what I remember, but great stuff regarding development of cognitive processes.
posted by bender b rodriguez at 11:31 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not cognitive, but since you have an interesting little creature handy... you can predict your child's height by measuring the child at 2 years old and then doubling that number. Just make a note of it and save that for 16 years or so.
posted by CathyG at 11:53 AM on September 20, 2012


Piagetian milestones are fun! Most of the explanations Piaget gave for them are out of date, but the phenomena are definitely real and observable. Here's one sequence, and the youtube related videos column should be full of more... If your child is younger, there's more of these tasks for babies and toddlers.

Also, if you live anywhere near any research universities with psychology departments, have you already tried participating in studies there? Sounds like it might be up your alley.
posted by heyforfour at 11:56 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a development milestone that's really hilarious. I tried it on my friends little brother once.

There's a certain age, maybe between 3-5, where kids will recognize unfairness.

For example, I give the kid a cookie and give myself two cookies. I'll ask if that's fair and the kid will say "no."

But here's the funny part. You take the kids cookie and break it into two pieces.

Ask the question again, "Is it fair now?" and the kid will say "yes". That is, if they haven't reached that milestone yet.

Eventually that trick will stop working. I don't remember what that milestone is called.. college was a long time ago.

Makes me giggle every time. I guess I'm just easily amused.
posted by j03 at 11:29 PM on September 20, 2012


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