4 Simple activities to boost your child’s cognitive development
Help your children progress in their physical development and motor skills by engaging in play and providing a safe ground for them to explore, identify objects, solve problems, and think logically.
Cognitive development is the process in which a child learns to reason, identify objects, solve problems, and think logically. This is the stage when your child shows a great interest in the environment around him or her. As a parent, you can boost your child’s cognitive development by providing him or her a safe ground by incorporating simple activities to your daily routine.
- Take a leap: From concrete thinking to abstract thinking This is the stage when your baby starts developing abstract thinking. As a parent, you can help connect abstract ideas to images to boost your baby’s cognitive development. For example, when introducing the word “animal” to your baby, encourage him or her to name every animal he or she has seen in the zoo. Guide your baby to point out the characteristics and things in common of the animals. That should help him or her understand what an “animal” means.
- Boost cognitive development through play At this age, it’s natural that your baby enjoys fun and games. You can come up with some games and activities that encourage your baby to think and find solutions. This is a great way to boost your baby’s cognitive development. A game like “slope and slide” is a great way to start. Slide a toy car down a slope in different angles, and ask your child what is the connection between the slope and the speed of the toy car. This will certainly set the child thinking!
- Explore and learn from the world Exploring the world around you is a good way to boost your child’s cognitive skills. You can plan and go on a trip once a month. For example, a family picnic to the beach should do the trick. With each outing, your baby will learn that the world is full of wonder. Anything and everything that the child observes--from the way waves hitting the shore, birds flying in the sky, fish swimming in the water or ships passing by-- are excellent stimulation for the baby’s senses and cognitive development. Being in nature activates your baby’s wild imaginations and curiosity. This kind of exposure will make him or her think about natural phenomena such as why birds fly, or where do the waves come from.
- Encourage your baby to use his or her imagination You can encourage your baby to use his or her imagination in many ways. Think of these activities: build the house of your dreams or draw it out, boost your baby’s creativity and imagination. Read a book with your baby, or act the story out. These are excellent ways to boost his/her imaginative development.
Boosting physical development in your child (age 1~3)
When your child is 1-3 years old, he or she is bursting with energy. Their energy would be unbounded, and they will be always jumping, and running around. Take your baby outdoor, play catch, have them run around or skip and jump. This would boost baby’s development in large motor skills. It is also a good time to focus on baby’s weaker physical skills. For example, teaching the baby how to catch a ball with their left hand would help their overall physical development.
Boost baby’s small motor skills at the same time
Big motors skills are important but so are small motor skills. Flipping through books, picking up beads, paper folding or block building are good ways to train baby’s control in hand movement. Join your baby as he or she builds blocks or flips through pages to help strengthen her small motor skills.
Master the techniques by repetition
Repetition is the key to physical development. When your baby fails at a skill, it is important that the mum shows him or her the skill in action again and again. Babies learn really fast at this early age. Therefore, allowing them to repeat their actions or showing them a particular movement would really help in their physical development.
Safe grounds is very important
It is important that parents provide a safe and spacious playground for the baby. You can take the baby outdoor, to the backyard, park or public playgrounds to enjoy a safe bonding time together. Once you are on a safe ground, you can indulge your child in many activities that will aid his or her physical development. Interactive games like catching the shadow, barrel rolling, or pushing on a swing are good options for growing physical strength while keeping the bond between mother and child.
- The Role of Pretend Play in Children's Cognitive Development. Retrieved 8 Oct 2017 from https://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v4n1/bergen.html
- Facilitating Motor Skill Development in Young Children. Retrieved 8 Oct 2017 from https://illinois.edu/blog/files/6039/140057/81762.pdf