A good example of learning through cross-modal input can be seen as children learn the functional uses of objects. Provide a variety of materials for the child: a cup, a spoon, a washcloth, a comb, and a phone, for example.
Place these items on the floor where the child is playing.
Observe what the child does with the objects. Examples you may see: Puts the cup to his mouth; Puts the spoon to his mouth or stirs with the spoon in the cup; Puts the washcloth to his face or hands; Puts the comb to his hair; Puts the phone to his ear. All of these show unctional use of objects.
As described in earlier age levels children learn through combining sensory information about objects. For example, with a wash cloth, the child feels the rough cloth and the smooth soap, smells the soap (and maybe tastes it), feels pressure as it moves around the body, and sees (and perhaps hears) the soap go on the body. All of this input registers as “washcloth.” Help parents understand that letting children do things themselves (like washing) lets them learn through discovery.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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