02 November 2011

A picture tells a thousand words

Layla is now 18 months old. Our days are busy with playing, learning, tantrums and exploring. Layla talks constantly. Her vocabulary is developing all the time. She understands everything and complements her jabbering with signing and hilarious facial expressions. You quickly realise with a baby and toddler, that everyday is about learning new things. Layla mimics our actions and behaviours as she learns how to exist as a little person.

I try to turn most of our activities into a learning experience. Bath time is no exception. Right from when Layla was only a few months old, we have always had books in the bath. Each night we read these stories and sing songs to match the pictures. I wanted to add a new dimension to bath time that matched her current stage of development. I recently purchased a cheap laminator from Office Works. I was surprised that I was able to get the machine and sleeves for under $30! I went through all of my old magazines and cut out a range of pictures of relevance to Layla - food, animals, clothes and plants. I then laminated each picture and cut them out. Now we use the pictures as story and talking points in the bath.

As time goes on I plan on introducing letters, words and more pictures to our bath time. The laminator has also come in handy for laminating photos of family and friends to use in games and everyday learning.


  1. There are other forms of learning other than cognitive. The Montessori pedagogy, for example, emphasizes the importance of sensorial learning in early development. If you are bombarding her with cognitive language learning at every possible moment you may be depriving her brain of the opportunity to have other kinds of learning experiences. It is a shame that you can't let her enjoy the sensory experience her bath and water, and the physical properties of other objects in water. You can still be there to keep her safe and to mirror her enjoyment but without the intrusion of cognitive learning at every moment.

    One of the laminated pictures looks like a big pink doughnut. If that is the case it is hard to understand why you would be reinforcing the existence of doughnuts in her life with a previously mentioned family history of diabetes.

    Talking of diabetes, breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes later in life. It is also an opportunity for sensory learning. I like to think of breastfeeding for toddlers as a form of meditation for mother and child. It is quiet, connected, focused, concentration that is pleasurable for both participants due to the oxytocin released. It builds up the neural pathways later used for calming and self-soothing later in life not to mention the immediate benefits of calming and centring both mother and child.

  2. Thanks for your post....it's not a dougnut but rather a picture of a pink grapefuit!
    As I said in my last comment post, Layla self weaned when she was ready. I respect her decision and we have developed other mechanisms for self soothing and calm bonding for us.
    Bath time is such a wonderful time for all types of learning, fun and relaxation.

  3. Learning through pictures and words is a fantastic activity to add to bath time! As an educator, I am totally in support of this great idea. It is creative and perfect for Layla. But then, you know this best as her parent and greatest teacher. Well done Jas, cool idea and wonderful way to make learning language fun and a natural part of every day :)

  4. I think this sounds like a wonderful idea to help make bath time a fun learning experience for children. Not only is your child experiencing the sensory feelings of the bath and water properties, she is also seeing that learning can be fun and occur in many different environments in many different ways.
    I think you should praise yourself for coming up with this idea and i’m sure Layla will gain positive associations with both learning and bath time - LJ