Next time you are scolding your child for being messy, think again, maybe he is a lot smarter than his peers. Latest research conducted in the University of Iowa indicates that kids who smash, swoosh and throw their food may actually be in a learning mode while having their meals. As per results of this study, messy kids are faster and better learners in comparison to kids who are relatively less messy.
Study at Iowa University
The study was published in Developmental Science, a popular journal wherein 72 toddlers were observed. How these kids learned identification of non solid objects like applesauce, oatmeal and milk was studied. It was found in the study that the children who got quite dirty when messing with their food learned to associate words for the goopy items at a faster rate in comparison that did not get too messy with their food.
Indications by the study
The study conducted at the University of Iowa clearly indicated that solid objects like apple and cup are identified by the toddlers more readily as the shape and size of these objects did not change. On the other hand, gooey, mushy and liquid substances are a little bit trickier to identify. As a result, liquid substances like soup or milk are difficult to identify. Also, since it is liquid it changes it shape according to the container it is poured into. As part of this study, researchers tried to find out how non solid were named by the toddlers. As part of this study, the researchers included 14 items like jelly, pudding, applesauce, juice etc to 16-month old kids. These items were presented to the toddlers besides giving them words like “kiv” or “dax”. Just a minute after, the kids were asked to identify same food in different shapes and sizes. The younger ones were asked to speak about an item more than its size and shape thereby helping them to explore about substances and what they were made up of for correct word choice and identification.
It was finally found that kids with their food, feeling, throwing and eating in a messy way were able to name and identify food items correctly. They were able to identify these food items with the help of their texture. Since the kids were seated in a high chair, the process of learning becomes helpful and easier. One of the results of the study was that children who were seated on a high chair were able to learn about food substances in a much better manner. Kids who sat in a high chair allowed children to get messier with their food. The research clearly proved that not only behaviour but also context helped kids a lot when getting messier with their food. This helped kids to increase the vocabulary of the child in a playful manner. This type of learning helped a great deal in the cognitive development of the kids. This proved that kids who ate their food in a messy way tend to learned in a faster manner.