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Survey to find out when babies and toddlers learn to use cultural inventions

(1 Post)
elenah Fri 06-Nov-15 13:52:59

A new research project is being launched today for the month of November to find out how babies and toddlers learn to use cultural inventions, from birth to 47 months.

Dr Elena Hoicka at the University of Sheffield is seeking to discover how children come to understand our world full of inventions, including ancient inventions, like spoons, and modern inventions, like ipads.

Parents across the world are invited to participate in the study by completing the First Actions Survey at

The survey asks questions about whether children know what to do with objects, e.g., do children know that you’re supposed to sit in a chair, and can children turn on a television themselves.

It only takes around 10-15 minutes to register and complete the survey.
The study is inclusive, so Dr Hoicka wants to hear from parents of all types of children, including children with typical development, as well as children with any other pattern of development, such as children with visual impairments or hearing loss.

Even parents of children with low activities levels, such as newborns, are invited to participate, as we are interested in how children learn about cultural inventions right from the beginning.

At the end of the survey parents will receive a summary of how many objects their child knows how to use.

This is the first survey to examine how children understand how to use objects inherent to their culture from birth, and will shed light on we survive as a species.

Dr Hoicka said, “Humans are great innovators, and our ability to create, replicate, and use inventions is key to our survival.

“Yet although learning to use cultural inventions is essential, we currently have no idea how many different objects young children know how to use.

“Research shows that children say their first words at around a year, and develop vocabularies up to hundreds of words just a few years later.

“We are keen to find out not just whether children know what objects are called, but what to do with them, giving us a picture as to how children learn to use inventions to adapt to their culture and environment.

“It is really important for parents of children from birth to preschool age to help us answer these critical questions about the early development of object use.”

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