Fun and interesting sound effects draw baby’s attention to play.
Even very early in life babies can hear a wide variety of sounds. Infants will turn towards the sound of a toy and begin to reach towards it. This ability to recognise the direction that a sound is coming from improves greatly during the first few years of life. Young infants listen longer to the sound of human voice and seem to prefer it to any other sound. They are especially aware of the sound of language and like to be spoken to slowly and with a high pitch. This is sometimes referred to as ‘infant directed speech’ or even ‘baby talk’. Young babies are quite sensitive in their auditory abilities and can perceive all the categorical sound distinctions in world languages. As babies develop their auditory abilities narrow so that eventually babies are only sensitive to those sound categories specific to their native language. As soon as babies are born they are influenced by what they hear around them and modify what they able to hear, accordingly. At the same time they become increasingly sensitive to music and musical patterns. Even in their first year babies are distinguishing between musical tunes on the basis of rhythmic patterns and later they begin to recognise the same melody played in a different key. Giving babies plenty of opportunities to hear music, singing, rhythm and talk enhances their learning and prepares them for the social world where they will talk, sing, play and listen to music.
Introduces the alphabet, letter sounds and vocabulary.
Babies start to babble at an early age and this can be seen as the first signs of language. They are predisposed to pick up the sounds of the language that they hear around them. Adults can facilitate babies’ language development by playing with them, focussing on particular toys, reading books and naming everyday objects. The more babies are exposed to language the faster they will begin to pick up it up. There are social skills involved in language acquisition such as realising that it is necessary to wait until the other person has finished speaking. Babies begin to learn about conversational turn-taking from an early age; if a baby is babbling the adult waits for a pause and then talks to the baby. Babies learn to take turns even before they are using words. Social interaction is important for language development and turn-taking games are a fun and educational way for babies and young children to learn. Young children also need to practice their language skills. Toys that name alphabet letters and everyday words satisfy young children’s need for repetition and rehearsal when practicing words and sounds. For instance, young children can press a button repetitively to hear the same sound or word again. Babies and children learn a lot through repetition and pick up words rapidly in this way. Once children begin to read their vocabulary expands enormously.
As babies develop they begin to use mental pictures of objects that are no longer within their field of vision. These memory skills can be enhanced through presenting visual stimuli more than once; repetition is essential for the development of memory skills. Young infants’ memories are influenced by context; for instance, they can imitate an adult’s actions with a toy but only if the toy is identical in colour and features to the one that the adult played with. Older infants can remember, for instance, how to press a toy animal to make a sound even if the toy is slightly different to the one which the adult used to demonstrate. Infants’ memories become less context dependent at the same time that infants start to crawl and walk. Giving babies plenty of opportunity to explore their world allows them to enhance their memory skills. As children’s attention span increases so do their memory strategies. This means that children can use deliberate mental activities, such as visualisation, to increase the chances of retaining information in working memory and then shifting it to their long-term knowledge base. Lots of rehearsal and organisation is needed to use memory to its full advantage; repetition is an important part of both infant and childhood learning. Children can both learn and practice memory strategies using toys and games. Toys that encourage children to remember visual stimuli, answer questions and then repeat the activity over again enhance learning.
Projects four different coloured lights onto the ceiling.
15, 30 or 45 minute timer.
Adjustable volume dial.
Best for ages:
The cute, soft hippo features 4 modes of play with a timer, a light control button and an adjustable volume dial.
Soothe your baby to sleep with the Starlight Sounds Hippo. The cute, soft and cuddly hippo features 4 modes of play with a 15,30 or 45 minute timer, a light control button and an adjustable volume dial. The hippo projects four different coloured lights with the option of 6 different light displays onto the ceiling whilst playing calming nature sounds and lullabies in the nature and lullaby mode, 3 soothing sung songs and melodies play in the lullaby mode, 7 popular nursery rhymes will be read in the story mode and 60 relaxing melodies will play in the lullaby mode.