Black and white contrast stimulation

Own black and white corners: The Swiss education provider globegarden offers babies optimal visual stimulation to promote their eyesight and cognitive development.

Vision is immature at first and babies see blurry and only in black and white before the third month. Only then do they gradually perceive colors such as red, yellow and blue. In order to promote this development, globegarden, the leading provider of childcare in Switzerland, has set up appropriate black and white corners in its baby rooms. “Infants still find it difficult to perceive different colors, so strong contrasts are important here. Studies have shown that a strong light-dark contrast encourages and stimulates babies› brain activity,» says Silke Bührmann, Director of Pedagogy and Education at the Swiss education provider.

The background is the rapid development in the first year of life. Sight is the least developed sense at first. Initially, the baby is myopic and the infant›s eyes are focused on objects that are the same distance away as the breastfeeding mother›s face. At about three months, eyesight improves, but the ability to move your gaze from one object to another is not there. Babies initially find it easier to focus on high-contrast objects and patterns because the light-sensing cells, cones and rods in the retina, are not yet mature enough to perceive red, blue, pink, yellow, violet and green. Black and white are the easiest to perceive.

«The contrasts increase the visual stimulation,» explains Silke Bührmann. In the black and white area of the globegarden educational institutions there are, for example, black and white play rings, an activity ball collection, the black and white sensory mat and accessories in black and white. Babies can choose from a wide range of play options. This game promotes healthy brain development. By focusing the eyes on the contrasts, the baby trains its sense of sight. The eye muscles and brain learn to work together and function properly. “The contrasts promote the babies’ cognitive development without stimulating them too much,” Silke Bührmann adds to the approach. The principle is framed by the use of soft materials with a metallic sheen and smooth, cool fabrics in order to set both sensory and visual stimuli.

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