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OT Corner: Why Babies Love (And Learn From) Magic Tricks

[Source: via Beyond Basic Play]

Here’s a great article along with audio discussing a study about something new about how babies learn. As a physical therapist, we learn a lot about motor learning and how one acquires a new skill or relearns an old skill. This is especially important in pediatrics where there is brand new learning happening multiple times during a session. I plan on using this method with some of my kiddos! 

Who knew that magic would be a great way to facilitate learning!

Highlights from the article:

Even babies seem to know the ball can’t go through that wall, though not necessarily because they learned it. It’s what some scientists call core knowledge — something, they say, we’re born with.

“Some pieces of knowledge are so fundamental in guiding regular, everyday interactions with the environment, navigating through space, reaching out and picking up an object, avoiding an oncoming object — those things are so fundamental to survival that they’re really selected for by evolution,” says Lisa Feigenson, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Hopkins and one of the researchers behind this study.


When the babies were given new information about these seemingly magical objects — like, the ball also squeaks — they were more likely to retain it.

The babies were also given a chance to play with the items that had surprised them. Not only did they prefer those to other toys; they played with them in a way that suggested they were trying to learn.

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