A baby’s hands are his or her primary tools for learning. The first six years of life is a stage of constant learning for kids, as they reach and hold, grasp, touch, and rub objects.
They explore and discover using their sense of touch, consequently improving their fine-motor skills. By 12 to 18 months, babies are keen on using both hands not just to reach and grab but also to feel and move objects.
Your young “feeler” needs as much experience in touching and feeling objects with different shapes, slopes and contours, curved edges, surface texture, surface temperature, hardness or softness, elasticity or pliability to stimulate his or her tactile development.
Touch, like all the other senses, gives babies valuable information about the world. The whole body is covered with sensitive touch receptors through which we feel hot or cold and pain or pleasure, or an object’s hardness or softness and smoothness or roughness.
Upon receiving and processing data from the tactile system, the brain gives an appropriate reaction: if the stove is too hot, you immediately remove your hand; if it’s too cold outside, you’ll run back in for your jacket.
Mae Catherine Sadicon, certified speech pathologist, Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists
365 Days of Creative Play, by Sheila Ellison and Judith Gray
Brain Games for Preschoolers, by Dr. Dorothy Einon
Infant and Toddler Development, by Kay Albrecht and Linda Miller