10 Best Activities to Improve Your Toddler’s Brain Development
Child’s brain development is at its peak from birth to 3 years. Brain development influences all areas of a child’s growth. There are four main areas of development: physical development, language development, social and emotional development and cognitive development.
Brain development is included in cognitive development. Cognitive development describes how a child’s intellect develops, it also includes thinking, learning and problem-solving skills necessary for a child’s growth. These skills influence all other areas of development.
The first 3 years of a child’s life are crucial for learning and development. Many parents ask how they can help their child, in faster and sharper brain development. The best way is to keep your child busy in everyday activities like playing, reading, constantly exchanging talks and being there when he or she feels the stress.
Here are ideas to encourage brain development which are:
• Cognitive development: Cognitive development is characterized by the way a child learns, gains knowledge and interconnects with his surrounding environment. Different cognitive skills are developed as a child meets certain developmental milestones, but a child of any ability will be benefited from activities that promote active learning.
• You can motivate your child to develop cognitive skills in the areas like memory, concentration, attention and perception by consolidating simple activities into your everyday routine.
Here are 10 easy ways to help your child in cognitive development:
1. Sing songs: Sing songs with your child and cheer him to sing along with you. Play his favourite songs or music in the house and car constantly and he may eventually start singing along by himself every time he listens to it. This activity helps promote memory as well as word identification skills.
2. Identify Noises: Make your child be or play in a surrounding where he can hear and identify various noises that he will hear throughout the day, something like a bird singing, a car horn, running water or the dishwasher sound. He will start to understand how sounds relate to objects in his everyday environment.
3. Practice the Alphabet song: Help your child identify letters by singing along with them the “Alphabet Song,” reading books about the alphabet and playing with alphabet puzzle games.
Here is an example of easy games to help your child learn his letters faster:
1. Cut out individual squares that feature each letter of the alphabet written in dark colours.
2. Mix them up and place them on various surfaces in the house.
3. Go through the alphabet with your child and motivate him to search around the house to find the next letter and stick it to the wall in order.
4. When finished, leave the alphabet letters in order up on the wall until you are all set to play the game again.
4. Practice Counting: Make or create opportunities and utilize every possible chance throughout the day to practice counting. Make your child count the number of shoes in his closet when he gets dressed or asks the number of slides on the playground when you go to the park. You may soon find that he will start counting everything!
5. Practice Shapes and Colours: Practice Identifying shapes and colours when interacting with your child. You can say things like, that is round red colour ball there in the ground when playing in the yard or that sign is a red octagon when passing by the stop sign. As he gets
older, you can ask him to describe objects, that he sees to you.
6. Offer Choices: You can teach them to differentiate colours by offering your child choices like would you like to wear yellow shorts or blue shorts? Or would you like to have string cheese or yoghurt for your lunch? This will help him to feel more independent and learn to make confident decisions that make his day.
7. Ask Questions: Another way to help your child learn to think by himself is to ask him questions such as which toy should we pick up first when we clean up the living room? Or why is it important to get down the stairs slowly when they are wet. Asking him questions helps him learn how to solve a certain problem and better understand how his environment works.
8. Visit Interesting Places: Take trips to your nearby local children’s museum, library, landscape garden or farmer’s market to stimulate his curiosity and dispense him with “hands-on” experiences.
Ask him questions while you traverse and listen to his responses and reactions. These adventures can provide a learning experience for both of you and strengthen your relationship with your child.
9. Play with Everyday Items: Playing and learning with everyday household items is educational, fun and cost-effective too. Encourage your child to match various sized lids to their complimentary pots or ask to have him to have a look in the mirror and point to his nose, eyes, mouth, etc.
10. Offer a Variety of Games: Play a variety of games with your child to encourage problem-solving and creativity like thinking out of the box skills. If your child is younger, the two of you can build with blocks and play Peek-a-Boo or hide and seek games. As he gets older, you can engage him in board games, puzzles or any interesting sports this helps in their overall development.
Are you doing any of the above activities for developing the cognitive skills in your child? If yes, please share your experience.