11 - 12 Months

How the Sliding Top Box helps build your baby’s working memory

Mother and baby playing with the Ball Drop Box by Lovevery

Object permanence is one of the most important concepts your child learns during the first year of life. Following something after it’s gone requires working memory, one of three emerging executive function skills.

Both the Sliding Top Box and the Ball Drop Box help your baby develop working memory. Around 7 to 8 months, your baby didn’t yet have the working memory to intentionally retrieve a hidden ball. The Ball Drop Box returns the ball quickly to give your baby near-immediate feedback. 

The Sliding Top Box develops your baby’s working memory skills. Now, they must form and retain a mental image of the ball to actively retrieve it.

Watch Lovevery co-founder Jessica Rolph demonstrate it in this video from our Lovevery App:

Skills your baby can practice with the Sliding Top Box

Complex problem-solving: For a baby, the challenging part of the Ball Drop Box is getting the ball through the opening. With the Sliding Top Box, it’s figuring out how to retrieve the ball, which requires some trial and error. Your baby may try to reach their hand through the hole, tip over the box, or find some other unique way of reaching the ball they know is in there somewhere 🙃

Resist the urge to do it for them—through trial and error, they’ll eventually learn how. If your baby gets frustrated to the point of giving up, offer them a small clue: point to the lid or slide it open just a little bit.

Lateral movement and crossing the midline: All your baby had to do to find the ball in the Ball Drop Box was to drop it through. The Sliding Top Box requires more dexterity. Sliding the top from one side to the other requires both fine motor coordination and lateral movement.

When your baby sits in front of the box, their hand needs to cross the midline of their body to slide the top. The midline is an imaginary line that runs from the top of their head down to their feet. Crossing it is an important skill that develops over years and is essential to life skills like self-feeding, dressing, and toilet learning.

Fine motor skills: Both boxes require effort and strength to pop the ball through the opening. At 11 months, your baby is developing more hand control to get it through. They may also now have the ability to intentionally let go of the ball when placing it on top of the hole, a fine motor skill called “voluntary release.”


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Posted in: 11 - 12 Months, Problem Solving, Fine Motor, Executive Function, Cognitive Development, Lovevery App, Child Development

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