Hello everyone! How are we all doing? Time has caught up with me again and it’s my turn to write another pram jam post. Today we are going to delve into the deep waters of philosophical thought concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of existence: metaphysics.
Actually, the phenomenon of “object permanence” – that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed. This is a fundamental concept that newborn babies are not able to comprehend. Basically put, they think if they can’t see it, it isn’t there. As adults we understand that if something is out of our field of view it hasn’t disappeared or just popped out of existence – we comprehend that it’s existence is independent of our ability to perceive it. For example, I know that that piece of cake is still in the fridge after I close the door – I just can’t risk it disappearing on me, so I have to eat it right now while I can still see it … but I digress.
Learning the concept (and implications) of “object permanence” is therefore a significant developmental milestone that occurs bit by bit over many months and is one that can signal if your infant’s cognitive development is progressing normally. Opinion is somewhat divided as to when this understanding does or should occur – so don’t be overly anxious and get advice if you think something is not quite right.
So what does all this existential angst amount to? It really just boils down to a good old game of peek-a-boo! – which is the classic object permanence test.
Let’s start with a fun little peek-a-boo! rhyme:
And now for a hide and seek version of a classic nursery song:
Note: when your baby gets a little older and more observant and you can see their eyes following the movement of your hands as you hide them behind your back, you can twist around so that they can see your hands and wiggle your thumbs and say “here they are!”
And what kind of book do we read to extend this metaphysical challenge? Why a lift-the-flap book, of course! These are a great combination of storytelling and a bit of hide and seek.
Baby Boo’s guess what? : first colours flip-the–flap book / Jeannette Rowe.
In some cases the story is also predictive, meaning that it encourages your child to make a guess about what might be hiding behind the flap in the illustrations.
In Pat the pet : a lift-the-flap book, for example, pat the bunny characters are contenders to be Paul and Judy’s new pet. Children will love to use the picture clues and sound cues to guess the identity of each new animal hiding behind each flap.
Speaking of things that still exist when you can’t see them, if you usually attend pram jams at Success library we won’t be there tomorrow (Wednesday, 18th March) because we will be at Hello Baby at Manning Park. It’s a fantastic morning out, you’ll see and do lots of great things and you will get to meet hundreds (and I really do mean hundreds) of other parents just like you!
To prove I really do still exist, why not come along and say ‘hi’ and I’ll say “peek-a-boo!”