Experimenting with Babies: 50 Amazing Science Projects You Can Perform on Your Kid

Shaun Gallagher. Perigree, $16 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-399-16246-6
While the title may give readers pause, former magazine editor Gallagher, a father of two who runs the site ExperimentingWithBabies.com, offers insights on infant development and parenting with a humorous twist. The experiments (testing cognitive, motor, social, and behavioral development) are perfectly safe for babies, with Gallagher advising that parents end an experiment if it causes their baby distress. Each experiment is explained in terms of age range, complexity, and research area; the experiment itself; the hypothesis; the research; and the takeaway. Occasional boxes feature “Tools of the Trade,” such as high-tech pacifiers or “Don’t Try This at Home,” like the Visual Cliff experiment. The author cites current research, much of it from the last decade, although classic work from practitioners such as Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky also appears. The heart of the book is not the experiments themselves, but takeaways that provide the new parent with developmental clues and suggestions for age-appropriate activities. Parents will appreciate these tips and Gallagher’s whimsical tone, whether or not they experiment on their own tykes. Agent: Laurie Abkemeier, DeFiore and Company. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/16/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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