New research shows babies and young children may be smarter than you think. The studies show babies know, observe, imagine and learn more than researchers previously thought.
And the way they learn is similar to some top-notch thinkers.
Jessica Froke pays special attention to how she plays with her eight-month-old son, Charlie.
"I just talk to him like he's a little person," Froke said. said.
Jessica says when she asks Charlie to pick out a certain color of ball he usually gets it right.
"Even the things when you don't think they're listening, they're always listening and picking up on everything," Froke said.
Could babies and young children actually be smarter than we think? New research suggests so. In fact, some researchers even compare baby's learning methods to the smartest scientists.
"It's a great way to think about how kids are actually interacting with their environment. They're testing ideas and everything that they're doing is actually helping them to learn about the world around them," Sanford Pediatric Neurologist Michael Kruer said.
Dr. Kruer says babies learn a lot based on trial and error; much of that is done through playing.
"Just through the process of playing during every day they test these ideas and see which ones hold up or which don't seem to apply," Dr. Kruer said.
Kruer says it's also important for parents to interact with their child. That's something you don't have to tell Froke twice.
"Just play with him. One-on-one contact a lot," Froke said.
In addition to playing with your child, doctors say reading to your child also helps them learn. They say that one-on-one time is usually more helpful than educational toys.