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Get Mealtime Messy To Help Your Toddler’s Language Skills

Interacting and playing with food can help your toddler understand what’s in front of her… or on the walls around her

Yes, that’s right. When your toddler’s playing Picasso with her dinner, she’s actually learning, according to a new study.

A team at the University of Iowa exposed a group of 16 months olds to 14 messy, liquid substances, including juice, pudding and soup. They gave all the items made up names such as ‘dax’ and ‘kiv’.

A minute later, they showed the children the same objects in a different shape or size, let them touch the items and then asked them to match to the right names. Lo and behold, the kids who interacted most with the food and drink (read: prodded, ate, poked and threw it… sound familiar?) managed to identify more objects correctly.

The researchers believe this highlights how important object texture is for working out what it is, as much as consistent shape and size.

‘It may look like your child is playing in the high chair, throwing things on the ground, and they may be doing that, but they are getting information out of [those actions],’ says university researcher Larissa Samuelson.

So, keep that in mind when you’re wiping down that puree interior design masterpiece. It’s all for her education.

How do you make mealtimes fun? Let us know below.

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