Early education plays an important role in preparing our children for adult life. In order to succeed in such a complex environment, parents and teachers must pay special attention to the development of all types of intelligence, both intellectual and emotional or creative.
As part of creative intelligence, visual intelligence can be stimulated to become a dominant feature of a child’s intelligence. Visual intelligence can even be the foundation of a learning mechanism. A person with visual intelligence can create mental maps, makes themselves noticed by creative spirit and active imagination, can organize spaces, loves to create and to decorate.
Valentina Secara, early education specialist and founder of the FIRST7 Parents and Educators Training Center tell us how we can help our children improve their visual – spatial skills through simple and fun activities.
The importance of visual stimulation for babies
The sense of sight is the most complex sensory system in the human body, but also the least developed at birth. Although they have the anatomical structures necessary for sight, babies need exposure to visual stimuli to learn and to be able to completely calibrate their visual system.
Valentina Secara says visual intelligence begins with the baby’s visual stimulation: “A baby’s brain that receives strong visual stimulation through colors and forms develops more rapidly, while babies that have been deprived of visual stimulation may face disadvantages in many areas of development.
In early childhood, sensitivity to visual stimuli is very well developed. This is because other types of intelligence, such as verbal, are not yet fully utilized.
“Babies need to use their whole body and senses to explore their world and various materials, both indoors and outdoors, in all kinds of weather. It is extremely important that these experiences are not hurried or forced by adults. By their nature, babies are fascinated by colors and shapes, and the task of parents is to create exciting experiences for them, “says Valentina Secara.
Games that develop visual intelligence
Children’s exposure to visual stimuli suitable to each stage of their evolution is the first path in developing creativity, intellect and emotional intelligence. In addition, creating many opportunities for them to be visually stimulated encourages their curiosity and interest in exploring the world.
From 6 to 26 months, sensory games with objects and textures in various shapes and colors are extremely important for the expansion of neural connections. “Hands are the tools the brain uses. The baby explores shapes, weights, distances, dimensions, smells, colors with his hands and with their help they form images” says Valentina Secara.
Before talking, a baby notices and touches the world. Images are formed based on these sensory experiences, then, with the help of adults, the words that define these images appear. Also, from the age of 1, simple construction games are extremely beneficial. Use blocks and match them with your child, using different colors and shapes.
At 2-3 years, you can develop the child’s visual intelligence by solving simple puzzles together, which can become more complicated as the baby grows. As they become familiar with constructions and show more confidence in matching the pieces, you can increase the complexity of the structures.
Children with a well-developed visual intelligence have an exceptional ability to think in images, create and build based on their expanded imagination. They are future engineers, architects, strategists, researchers or artists. As the child’s first teachers, parents can introduce the basics of spatial thinking through play.