We all have different activities and lifestyles during pregnancy that ultimately affect our child. Every stage of their being could have an impact on their physical development as well as cognitive development.
As parents, we are the first teachers of our children. We cannot let the school do everything. Parents should always have a part in the child’s learning. Thus, as they grow, we should always keep ourselves involved with our child's cognitive development stages, acknowledging when milestones are met, and not met.
With this, we’d like to share with you the seven stimulating activities for the smarter child. These activities aid with cognitive development, providing reason and thinking along with problem solving.
- Drawing Activities
Drawing is a wonderful way for your child to express themselves. It provides opportunities for them to engage in creative thinking, promoting their imagination. Drawing lines and squiggles aid in learning how to write numbers, letters and eventually words. They can learn how to draw shapes, soon following, objects composed of those shapes. For example, a house can be drawn from a square, with a triangle roof, a rectangle door and square windows. Engage your child in activity books such as shape drawing book, a letter tracing pad and other books that will let them copy and create their own drawings.
- Puzzle Activities
What makes the puzzle activity enjoyable is the result in the end. Children love to see the picture created when the pieces are all put together. Cognitive skills are developed during this kind of activity by practicing focus and patience as they use trial and error to fit the puzzle pieces together. They will also be participating in fine motor development as they manipulate the pieces to fit them correctly.
- Follow the Leader
This is a very fun way for you to interact with your child. Start the follow the leader game by standing in a corner of the room. Make a gesture and let your child imitate it. As soon as they have imitated the same action, move to another corner and make another action. Repeat this as long as their attention is held. This will not only exercise your child’s mind and attending skills, but will promote physical development with muscle movements as they imitate your actions.
- Reading and Writing
Reading and writing abilities are essential for vocabulary building and communication. To encourage these activities, make them fun and stimulating. Some suggestions for writing activities include using materials other than a pencil and paper. For example, have them trace lines using paint and a paint brush. Have them draw shapes and letters in a box of sand. You can also show them how to roll playdoh into lines and create letters from those lines. For reading, while they flip through the pages, have them describe what they see in the pictures. Before reading the book, allow them to be creative with predicting what they think the story might be about. After reading the book, ask them questions about who, what, where and emotions that were present in the story. Asking these questions will promote their reading comprehension skills.
- Music playing
Some children were born with innate talent in music such as those who inherited their parent’s skills in playing instruments like piano. However, if your child is not among them, there is no need for you to worry. You can still develop these skills. Start at an early age and provide your child with exposure to music and musical instruments. Music supports sensory development and is considered a form of self-expression. Many children find music to be soothing and comforting. Allow them to explore the different instruments and the sounds that they can produce with each instrument. As they learn to manipulate the instrument properly, they will increase their skills in the cognitive domains of creative thinking, patience, and focus.
- Memory Games
As the name suggests, these activities enhance your child’s ability to recall what has been seen, said or done. One way to play a memory game is to use visuals cards that have a match, lay them face down, and take turns flipping over two at a time to see if you found your match. If your child flips one over and discovers that they can recall where the match was, they are enhancing their thinking skills. By taking turns, you are also promoting opportunities for your child to learn how to wait appropriately. If at the end, you or someone else wins by getting the most matching cards, it allows for you to teach your child how to have good sportsmanship with congratulating the winner. Another memory game that you should engage in with your child is asking them questions about what they did the day before or earlier that morning. For example, “What did you eat for breakfast?” “Where did we go yesterday, who did we see?” By having them recall events, places, actions, you will be promoting their thinking and enhancing their observation skills for what is happening in the environment around them.
The majority of children love their nighttime routine to include a bedtime story. These stories can be read from books, or completely made up from the person putting them to bed. While reading a book, have them try to predict what is going to happen. If they already know the story, promote their creative thinking by asking them how the story could have ended differently or you, yourself change the ending and see how they react to an alternate ending. This will allow them to expand their thought processing skill’s, which will aid in them learning about alternative outcomes for different situations, promoting their problem solving skills.
There are huge benefits to your child’s cognitive development by engaging them in these seven stimulating activities. Provide opportunities for your child daily to express themselves, problem solve, be creative and develop a sense of discovery in order to enhance their thinking and reasoning skills. Enjoy every moment spent bonding with your child while engaging in these seven stimulating activities for smarter kids!
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