There’s a whole wide world out there, and it’s all new to Baby. Observing the world around him is how he learns, so it stands to reason that helping him get excited about observing the world around him will only help him learn!
Stories are a huge part of how young children develop empathy. By talking to your little one about the stories that may be going on all around him every day, you’re helping him make the leap toward developing feelings of understanding and interest in the lives of others. And developing empathy is only going to grow more and more important as he grows up, goes to school, and starts to exercise his growing social skills. In the meantime, here are a few lines of thought for the fledgling people-watcher and his parent or caregiver.
- Where is that person going? Okay, realistically, the car driving past you as you buckle Baby into his stroller is probably just on its way to the grocery store, but maybe it isn’t. That car is going pretty fast, so maybe it’s a doctor on their way to deliver a baby, or a clown who’s late to a little girl’s birthday party, or an animal rescue worker hurrying off to care for a sick bat. When Baby answers your question, you might hear echoes of books you and he have been reading together, or stories so strange they could have only come from right inside his mind.
- What’s that person’s job? What better way to let Baby know that he can be anything he wants to be when he grows up than by talking about the infinite possibilities for what each person he passes on the street might do for work?
- What’s that person’s favorite animal? Sure, you can’t judge a book by its cover, but there are so very many animals in the world that wild speculation is just part of the fun. It’s also a great time to talk to Baby about all the kinds of animals the world is filled with.
As you talk to Baby about the possibilities all around him, don’t be afraid to let his imagination run away with you both – the more often you do, the more imaginative he will be!