There’s plenty research pointing to the psychosomatic connection between laughter – even smiling – and good health. And now a team of French scientists has discovered that humour appears to help the learning process, too.
The findings of the experiment, conducted by Rana Esseily and her colleagues, and published in the journal Cognition and Emotion, reveal that toddlers who laughed at the actions of an adult were better able to mirror those actions themselves.
You’ve spent the last ten minutes performing pantomime for your baby, mustering every expression in the human facial vocabulary, and not a smile – not even a hint. That time you slaved over the stove cooking a delicious homemade meal for your tot and not only was it met with utter disdain but hurled on the floor with insulted indifference. Or when you pull in for a cuddle and your child spots a friend from nursery and your love is forgotten.
You hide the tears but your feelings have been hurt. It’s a parent’s life.
Babies spend nine long months paddling, kicking and blowing bubbles in the underwater world of mum’s womb – so it’s no wonder that little ones are born with the natural ability to swim.
Thanks to two intelligent, survival reflexes – the swim reflex and the dive reflex – babies will move their arms and legs in a swimming motion when supported in the water (tummy-side down), and can hold their breath and open their eyes when beneath the surface.
Because these reflexes are strongest in the first six months of life, it seems a good idea to take that opportunity to try out swimming lessons; and not necessarily to start prepping in advance for Olympic gold – or an escape plan should the family one day be marooned on a desert island.
All kids love the circus – but imagine their delight if they could actually be part of the Big Top experience, as bonafide performers?
Forget ballet class, piano lessons and tennis camp; circus school is coming to towns across the UK, and there’s a lot more to it than just clowning around…
Circus schools and workshops are fast becoming popular as the most exciting activity around, training the newest generation of circus artists in all the favourite feats; from aerial arts and acrobatics, to juggling, poi, diabolo, and even stilt-walking!
Babies communicate from birth, with cries and coos, and sweet little snuffling sounds. As they grow their ‘talking’ becomes more sophisticated and before you know it, you have a little person living in the room next to you. It’s all very exciting!
Here’s a talking timeline that will give an idea of the verbal milestone you have to look forward to in your baby’s first year: