The Academics of Infancy
While it is easy to see the educational benefits of Romp n’ Roll classes for preschoolers and toddlers, it may be difficult to see that infants are learning anything of importance in their classes. Of course, these classes constitute an enjoyable out-of-the-house experience for both parent and child, but is the baby really acquiring any significant knowledge and skill?
The answer to that question is a not-so-obvious but nevertheless resounding “Yes!” Think about when you get a new cell phone. You spend a lot of time figuring out what all the buttons are for and what they can do. It takes quite a while and a lot of effort before you are completely comfortable with the device and confident you are taking full advantage of its many capabilities.
Well, the baby’s body is brand new to him. He has no idea how it works and no clue what it can do. Something as simple as discovering that he is connected to his own hands is a huge achievement. And then coordinating his hands with his vision represents the conquest of an even more challenging task. The fact is that so many things concerning our bodies we take for granted actually have to be learned during the first months of life.
There is no doubt that the adults and babies in a Romp n’ Roll infant class are having a good time with the fun and fascinating equipment and activities. But it is important to recognize that the little ones are also pursuing critical studies in motor and sensory school.
Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project. He may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.