Heightens curiosity and encourages exploration.
Even young babies love to learn about the world through exploration. Kicking and waving their arms while lying in their cot can lead them to discover that a kick can make a banging sound. Exploration and play are closely linked in infants where, for example, discovering that a toy makes a noise leads to infants repeating the action that made the noise. Babies learn a great deal through repetition. Once babies are either crawling or walking their mobility gives them more opportunities to explore their world.
Babies need to satisfy their curiosity about an object or toy by approaching and handling it. Adults can influence an infant’s confidence about the world by encouraging and smiling at them when they approach an unfamiliar object or toy. Babies can show uncertainty about a new toy and in order for them to confidently explore and discover it they need the emotional reassurance from their parent or caregiver. The confidence to explore and discover new things develops during infancy and creates a healthy curiousity about the world throughout childhood.