“Quantum Physics For Babies” by Chris Ferrie caught my eye on a recent visit to Target. At first I laughed because this cute board book was masquerading as toddler text book. I’ve also watched Boy Wonder “read” enough books to know the he would look like a miniature scientist with that in his hand. Then a more serious thought struck me, he already is a miniature scientist and the whole world is his lab.
Since he was born, Bex and I have watched him learn to problem solve by experimenting. When he was just a couple months old it started with, “How do I grab the fox off my mobile?” When grunting, pointing, and yelling all failed, he figured out how to reach. When The Duplo Legos wouldn’t snap together like they do for IncrediDaddy, he slapped, slammed, and chewed on them until finally, they clicked. When he faces a problem, I’ve watched him try everything he can until something starts to work.
Boy Wonder’s natural curiosity astounds me. I’ve watched him sit there with a new toy and study it until he’s figured it out from top to bottom. Books he will study for as long as you let him. But what really got me was his musical instincts.
He’s watched and listened to me play the guitar since he was born but recently he has started to show more of an interest. He plucks a string, listens to the sound, and either does it again or moves on to the next string. He’s no B.B. King yet but we have hopes.
Billy Joel and Elton John don’t need to get nervous yet but Boy Wonder is interested in the piano too. Most kids bang away on piano keys if you let them right? Not this guy, again our miniature scientist is putting his experiments to the test in the lab of life. He gently touches each key, many, many, times, and listens to the tone. Then he moves on to the next key and repeats the process all over.
According to research done at Johns Hopkins University, when something unexpected happens, an IncrediBaby tests that object’s properties by banging it against a tray, putting it in their mouth, or dropping it on the ground. Is it solid? Can it fly? How does it taste? If I keep pressing that key will a new sound happen? No? Okay, next key, new sound.
I guess this is how Boy Wonder will start to get a handle on the world around him. Today he is figuring out how to pick up asparagus from his high-chair tray. Tomorrow, he’ll try to conquer world! Maybe he’ll settle for conquering a new frontier of the park that we haven’t explored yet.
They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree but I’m not so sure. Bex and I lean more towards the creative. She is a dancer. I write. We are both musicians. But Boy Wonder seems so mechanically minded and that’s so different than us. It gets me excited to think that maybe we will get to learn from each other some day. I guess it’s true, kids only get more interesting as they grow older.
Do any IncrediDads out there have ways they help their little scientist figure out the world around them? I know Legos are fantastic but are there any other STEM toys you recommend? I’d love to hear what works for you. Put it in the comments below.