Promote Better Learning with the Use of Toddler Cognitive Activities

The first three years in child’s life is critical, not just because of their physical development but also their cognitive capabilities. It is during this time that your baby is growing into a toddler, exploring their environment and learning from the world around them. As infants, they respond their environments through their senses, such as responding to sounds, lights, smells, and colors. As they develop from a baby to a toddler, it is a crucial time to encourage them to play and participate in activities that will encourage cognitive growth.

Guide for Choosing Baby Cognitive Activities


For children to learn and remember things, you need to repeat and regularly practice interactions. Try to connect activities as much as possible and give them a chance to explore in order to experiment and learn from hands on play.

Play is considered as the most efficient and effective way to develop a child’s cognitive skills. Many cognitive activities for babies include proving new experiences to your baby and showing them how to process and think while engaging in the experience.

Your job as a parent is to give your baby exposure to and provide opportunities of learning in every environment that you enter. It requires your time and dedication to make them learn in order to develop and reach their cognitive milestones. Here’s how you enhance your baby’s cognitive development and improve their learning of more complex skills.

Top 10 Best Activities to Enhance Your Child’s Cognitive Ability


Listed here are the top 10 most recommended activities that you can use to develop your child’s thinking skills.

1.  Start by chanting sing-a-longs

Engaging in sing-a-longs is an activity that can easily be done throughout the day, by multiple family members. You can sing with your baby during bath time, diaper changing, and while driving in the car. Singing can also be done while you are performing household chores like folding laundry and cleaning up the kitchen. There are many nursery rhymes you can choose from and you can use animal puppets to pair with songs like “Old McDonald.” Through this, you can enhance your baby’s cognitive skills as well as promote their language development skills as they enter toddler hood.

2.  Identify different sounds and noises

By introducing different sounds to your child, the relationship between the sound and the object will be better understood. They will learn how to manipulate a variety of objects and instruments in order to produce a desired sound. By moving even simple objects like pots and pans, they will promote their reason and thinking skills by seeing how dropping the pan produces a different sound than when sliding the pan. They will also discover tempo and beats with how fast or slow they move the item. Soon enough they will learn that different sounds can have meaning, such as a siren of a fire truck. By experimenting with sounds, your child will recognize and better understand what’s in their environment.


3. Introduce the alphabet

Puzzles, books and flashcards are great ways to introduce the alphabet to your child. Make it fun, for example place a 3-4 of the flashcards on the table or floor and have them find the letter that you say. Give positive praise, clapping and saying “great job” each time that they find the correct letter; if they chose the wrong letter, show them the correct one and have them repeat what letter it is; put it back on the floor and ask them again after a couple of trials. While reading a book, have your child point to specific letter and say what it is. Pair the letter with the letter’s sound to prepare them for reading in the future.  Most children start by receptively identifying (pointing to) letters before they start naming them. 


4. Introduce numbers

Numbers can also be learned by the same flashcard method as the alphabet. Once they can identify the numbers zero through 10 you can play a fun interactive number game. Start by preparing written numbers on pieces of paper. Jumble the numbers and scattered them in different places of the room. Start counting and give your child the opportunity to go look for the number zero, and then tape it on the wall. Count to the next number, one, again have them find it and it tape it on the wall next to zero; continue until they have found all the numbers through ten. Once all the numbers are taped to the wall, teach your child to recite the first number up to the last, and the last to the first. Throughout the day you can start teaching your child how to count by using any objects around the house. For example, a pair of shoes, eating utensils or even food to keep your child’s attention while counting.


 5. Identify different shapes and colors

Teaching shapes and colors can be done throughout the day using objects that are in the natural environment. Such as while playing with toys and look at books, you can identify the shapes and colors that make up the toy or pictures. You can also teach shapes and colors the same way that was mentioned in the alphabet game: place a 3-4 of the flashcards on the table or floor and have them find the shape or color that you say. Give positive praise, clapping and saying “great job” each time that they find the correct shape or color; if they chose the wrong shape or color, show them the correct one and have them repeat what shape or color it is; put it back on the floor and ask them again after a couple of trials. Make sure that you are teaching the shapes and colors separate so that your baby doesn’t get confused and think that a triangle means blue; you need to have multiple colored triangles, and so on. Also, you can hold up objects anywhere found in your environment and label what shape or color it is, for example, a square cracker or a circle cookie.


 6. Give them choices

To develop self-confidence and independence, you should give your child opportunities to make their own choices. You can incorporate these opportunities throughout your daily routine by having them decide what they want for breakfast or what they would like to wear. To start, you may want to only offer two or three items that you have selected for them to chose from. When your child makes a selection, give them verbal praise so that they know your acknowledge and approve of their decision; this will help promote their confidence due to the fact that they will be happy that they made you proud.


 7. Practice interactive communication

Better way to improve your child’s communication skill is by talking to them! Talking, telling stories, singing, all of these interactions build your child’s vocabulary and repertoire. While you are engaged in an activity, describe what you are doing. It can be done during chores or while cooking. For example, “First we put water in the pot, then we put the pot on the stove; we turn on the stove and wait for the water to boil…etc.” Your child will love that you are including them in the task. You can talk about everyday objects found in your house to promote receptive identification and vocabulary. While walking through the house, point out the doors, windows, sinks, tables, etc. Ask them questions that will require them to think more, for example, while reading a story, ask them what they think will happen before you to turn the page to find out what happens. You can ask them questions about the environment and have them recall events such as what they ate that morning for breakfast or where they went over the weekend in order to challenge them to think more and to build upon their memory skills.


8.  Bring him/her to interesting places

Surprise your child with a tour to new places; different playgrounds, the beach, play dates at different homes, mommy and me classes. You can go to museums, gardens, farms, the more exposure they receive to different environments, the more opportunities for learning. Let him explore and experience different sounds, settings and textures such as sand or grass.


9. Find time to play with objects in your house

It will be fun and educational at the same time. It will promote their creativity and enhance their imagination. For example, allow them to play in a large cardboard box; allow them to bring their toys inside and even color the sides with markers or crayons. Also, give them opportunities to use sheets or blankets to build a safe fort. By allowing them to use materials to create other things that stray away from the items original purpose, you are giving them a way to explore and think “outside of the box."


10. Offer a Variety of Games

It is more efficient for your child to play different kind of games in order to learn a variety of skills. It will encourage them to think creatively, preparing them for solving real-life problems and to learn about cause and effect. As they reach toddler hood, encourage games that will challenge them such as puzzles, board games, sorting and matching.

From birth up through the toddler years, your baby will learn a tremendous amount. Baby cognitive activities will vary according to what your child’s interests are as well as their abilities. Use baby cognitive activities that will promote reason and thinking, as well as cause and effect to encourage them to think more complexly.

Incorporate play during every activity that you and your baby engage in. Moreover, to fully develop your child’s cognitive skills, you must guide them and give them positive reinforcement with every little accomplishment. Nurture your child and find more baby cognitive activities here .