Good news for parents of sloppy toddlers who wreak havoc at meal time. New research suggests that the more your child plays with their food, the quicker they will learn.
"They're not just being messy," Lynn Perry, one of the study's contributors, tells WedMD. "That messiness is helping them learn about things, like yoghurt and jam, and all these things that they can really only learn about through touch and tasting."
A team of researchers at the University of Iowa studied how 16-month-old children learn words for non-solid objects, such as applesauce and oatmeal. They say toddlers take longer to learn words for these liquid items because they are less able to prod, touch and hold them, which is key for association.
The researchers found that toddlers who made a mess with non-solid substances like oatmeal, applesauce, pudding and milk learned the words more quickly.
"It may look like your child is playing in the high chair, throwing things on the ground, and they may be doing that, butRead More »from Toddlers who play with food are better learners, says study