The Repetition Effect
Young babies and toddlers thrive on and respond to repetition, and once is done a few times, it becomes habit.
If you find yourself playing peek-a-boo for hours or singing interminable verses of “The Wheels on the Bus”, rest assured, you’re not alone, says Emily Manning.
Young babies and toddlers thrive on and respond to repetition, and once an action is done a few times, it becomes habit. This is the basis for how we learn – whether that is reciting the alphabet, counting to ten, or singing along to a song on the radio. When babies or toddlers pick up on something that they’ve seen or heard more than once, it will soon become second nature to them.
This repetition leads to familiarity, and the familiarity allows your child to feel comfortable and confident to repeat the action back. A very young child will enjoy doing the same activity over and over again, because he knows he can do it.
Your child’s first attempts at many things will only be mimicking – smiling, laughing, waving, making sounds and finally words. However, even before your baby can copy your actions, their understanding of what’s happening will grow and their actions will become more meaningful.
Repetition is also a key tool for parents to help their child’s speech and cognitive development. Encourage your child by narrating your actions, naming what you see and describing everyday things.
It may feel like you are constantly stating the obvious, but this is a natural and effective way for your child to learn.