Home > Kindergarten Ready > Smooshing peas may help kids understand the world

Toddlers learn better if they, shall we say, interact vigorously with their food.

That’s the conclusion of a study published recently in Developmental Science. In the study, 16-month-old children were taught new names for foods like jelly and syrup, then tested to see if they could connect those names with the foods, even when the foods were presented in different colors and shapes.

The study seems to indicate that a toddler’s propensity toward mealtime mess might actually be a sign of intelligence (not unlike the somewhat controversial idea that a messy desk indicates a creative adult mind).

While all may be ready to cheer for the child with a face covered in chocolate pudding, the experiment brings up a number of interesting questions about how children learn and the role of play and exploration.

Read more in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.