-We gain information from watching television or reading the newspaper.
-We listen to others as partners in communication.
-We might taste several different wines or feel different qualities of bed linens to better distinguish the difference between their tastes or textures.
-We might even learn that by listening to certain types of music, we feel more relaxed.
Infants and toddlers depend on their senses and the skills and abilities they are born with (looking, listening, grasping, sucking and mouthing) to learn. In fact, the pioneer of child development Jean Piaget, recognizing how infants and toddlers rely on all of their senses to help them understand the world around them, named the first twenty-four months of life the sensorimotor stage (Civitas, Understanding Children).
Mouthing can be described as children's exploration of objects (or hands or feet) using their mouths. Mouthing is an important way to help infants and toddlers better understand their sense of touch and learn more about objects in their environment--especially those that are new to them. It gives them an introduction to texture, size and function. Children also use mouthing as a feeding behavior, and a comforting and soothing tool (Ruff, et al., 1992).
Because young children will explore using all of their senses, DCM follows the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local health department’s recommendations for cleaning and sanitization of props and surfaces. Daily and weekly cleaning schedules ensure exhibit components are disinfected.
The following are other things visitors can do to help keep DCM safe and clean:
· Mesh bags and toy returns found throughout the Museum can be used to deposit any toys that have been mouthed (Carpenter, 2008).
· Visitors may use disinfectant wipes found in the three Young Explorers areas to wipe up areas affected.
· Remember that hand washing is the best way to fend off any germs (especially before eating).
· Please watch what your infant or toddler mouths. Most toys in the Young Explorers areas of the Museum are
(Sources: http://psychology.about.com/od/piagetstheory/p/sensorimotor.htm; Piaget, J. (1936). Origins of intelligence in the child. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Carpenter, J. (2008). "How Clean is Clean?" Hand to Hand-Association of Children's Museums.)