Early Experiences Matter

Get Connected
Please leave this field empty
why should I register?

FOLLOW US! faceook linktwitter linklinkedin link


Donate - Support Us

Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

My baby just loves to splash in the tub. What’s going on, why is this so funny for her?

Q: My baby just loves to splash in the tub.  She laughs like crazy while she’s getting me soaked.  I laugh too—at her having so much fun.  But what’s going on, why is this so funny for her?

A: Experiences like splashing in the tub give your baby a chance to test and explore. When she is splashing, she is also learning: What happens when I splash?  What happens when I splash in a different way?  Now this way?  She is learning about cause and effect and which qualities of water change and which stay the same when she splashes each time.  This helps her understand the features, characteristics, and qualities of water.  In other words, what makes water water?  Repeated, careful, organized experiments (also known as play) are required to develop the understanding that something remains the same no matter what is done to it or how it might be changed.  For example, your baby understands that the milk in her bottle or your breast is “milk.”  She also learns that: the milk on her hand and fingers is “milk”; the milk pouring from the half-gallon container is “milk”; the puddle of milk on the high-chair tray is “milk”; and the puddle of milk on the floor is “milk.”  Learning about these relationships is a constant source of wonder and delight to your baby.

This answer was developed based on input from Robert Weigand, Director, Child Development Laboratory, Arizona State University.



Play With Me!: Fun Activities that Support Early Learning
Read More
My 2-year-old daughter's preschool teacher tells me that she actively participates during the planned activities but often seems unhappy during free playtime. What should I do?
Read More
My 23-month-old son spends a lot of time playing with my 4-year-old son and his friends. But sometimes my 4-year-old wants time by himself. Should I “force” them to play together, or not?
Read More
How can you help 19-month-olds share during a playgroup?
Read More

Explore our Parenting Resources

Call for Proposals - 2016 Annual Conference

Home   |   Careers   |   Permissions   |   Contact Us   |   Tell a Friend   |     |   Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2014 ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, go to www.zerotothree.org/reprints