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WHAT IS CREATIVITY? BOOSTING A CHILD'S VISUAL DEVELOPMENT

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The visual world of infants is a "booming and buzzing confusion", as 19th century psychologist and philosopher William James said. Indeed, as soon as babies are born, their vision undergoes many rapid developments during the first year. Images that appear gray, hazy, and out of focus in the first few weeks become more defined and and colorful in the next months. When these blurs start to become clearer to the child, that's when the journey toward creativity and visual development begins.



Vision also plays a vital role in brain growth during the first year. A child's visual faculties is one of the most important factors in developing his or her creativity. By creativity, it is meant that the infant is able to distinguish and identify what he or she sees and attribute them to particular objects.



To an infant, this is what creativity is about. Ninety percent of information entering the average human brain is visual. Providing the proper visual stimulation, therefore, is vital since healthy vision leads to baby's future overall mental and physical well-being.



What infants see



Infants may have uncoordrinated eye movement and appear cross-eyed over the first few months. However, they are born with the ability to focus at close range – about 9 to 12 inches, or the distance between a mother's face and the baby in her arms.



Experts say that babies are able to follow or track an object in the first few weeks. By 6 months of age, the visual and creative system is nearly adult-like in function. As a matter of fact, infants can see about 20/400 after birth, then 20/40 by age one. Focus improves over the first 2 to 3 years, and eventually approaches normal 20/20 vision. But the most dramatic change occurs during the first 8 months.



Newborn babies can distinguish light from dark but cannot see all colors. Distinguishing between colors won't be fine-tuned until around 3 months. This is why many baby books and infant stimulation toys have distinct black and white patterns. Large black and white patterns present the highest possible contrast (100%) to the eye and, thus, are the most visible and attractive to babies.



High contrast encourages visual and creative development and physical movement like wiggling, kicking, and arm waving. However, recent studies have proven that babies can also distinguish shades of gray. By about 2 months of age, the baby becomes capable of perceiving almost all of the subtle shadings that make our visual world so rich, textured and interesting.



And since there is a part of the human brain that is dedicated solely to facial recognitions, newborns are naturally drawn to human faces. This specific recognition mechanism is one of the first indicators of creativity building in a child. It helps form a bond between the mother and child, particularly during breastfeeding. By 2 months, infants can recognize facial features, such as the eyes and mouth. By 4 to 5 months, they can distinguish their mother's face from others'.



Creativity begins with visual stimulation. Thus, it is the duty of every caregiver or parent to expose their kids to all sorts of colors and images early on, in order for the child to be equipped with the proper skills once the stage of actual creation comes, which is usually at age 2 to 3 years old. For infants, what creativity is is the acknowledge that a lot of images and colors exist, which is then followed, as he or she grows older, by the improved ability to build.


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