Cognitive development is important for not just one’s productivity and success, but also survival. Did you know that this unique ability to reason, plan, think, remember, and comprehend starts developing as early as 2 months when babies start observing and responding to their surroundings? The good news is that parents can help promote the development of cognitive skills in their babies through various types of activities. You will be amazed at how easy it is to boost your child’s brain development through certain everyday-yet-simple cognitive development activities.
Here are some of the easiest and most effective activities to help cognitive development in your child.
How Can You Encourage Your Child’s Cognitive Development?
Between the ages of zero and one year, you may start noticing certain transformations in your baby. They start exhibiting certain personality traits, walking, playing, and speaking in their own gibberish language. As they start displaying these actions, their little brains are literally forming millions of neural connections every second. These neural connections help babies learn and understand more about their environment. The more these neural pathways or networks are utilized and honed, the stronger they get. And this is why repeating an activity helps your child develop and learn faster.
As a parent, you can use certain cognitive skills activities to boost your baby’s cognitive development. These activities are designed to allow your child to develop attention, and focus and enhance their responses to external stimuli. These activities focus on seven main developmental areas such as emotional, personal, social, physical, language and communication, and more.
Here are some of the most fun and engaging cognitive activities examples:
Best Activities for Cognitive Development in Early Childhood
What could be a better activity to improve cognitive development than dancing? It is a creative outlet that not just improves your child’s learning response and boosts mental strength, but is also an excellent physical exercise. You can experiment with different ways of dancing. Start with playing music that your child enjoys and encourage them to dance freely. To build on, you can include fun activities such as a treasure hunt or storytelling in their dance.
2. Sing Along
Singing is a simple yet very powerful cognitive development activity. Music offers new sounds for your child to listen and explore. It also teaches them how to comprehend patterns and improves their motor skills. You can either make a USB collection of your child’s favourite playlist. Alternatively, use a rattle or shaker and sing along. If your child is older, you can create new songs with them. This will help expand their vocabulary and engage them better.
3. Play With Dough
One of the best activities of cognitive development, dough playing supports your child’s skill development hugely. When they poke and roll the dough, children build on their hand-eye coordination. While thinking of shapes, they begin to use their imagination and symbolic thinking. Not to mention, all the physical activity also builds strength in their muscles.
4. Pick Up Sounds
Sound is one of the major senses that help to build your child’s cognitive abilities. One of the best activities of cognitive development includes helping your child pick up different sounds. These could be a car’s honk, birdsong, or an animal’s sound. This will not just make them feel connected with their surroundings but will also hone their memory and recognition.
5. Explore Textures
The sense of touch is vital for helping children explore the world around them. It does not just help in the development of the brain by building nerve connections, but also enhances gross motor skills. Encouraging them to touch different textures- slimy, liquid, soft, hard, etc. helps them recognize different kinds of surfaces. It also helps in interpreting and communicating different textures. Exploring textures as one of the activities that promote cognitive development is also a great way to build on their motor skills.
6. Have a Treasure Hunt
As fun as a treasure hunt is, it serves as one of the best cognitive development problem solving activities. It challenges children to think and develop problem solving skills to complete the treasure hunt. They also learn to work in teams and use their imagination and develop self-confidence.
It is quite simple to turn a treasure hunt into an activity that exercises your child’s body. All you need to do is allow them to run around, jump, and walk and see them have tons of fun.
7. Teach Stacking Activity
Stacking boxes, cubes, pillows, dominos, or blocks is one of the best activities to help cognitive development. It helps them practice hand-skill coordination and understand the concept of balancing. This is also a great activity to introduce them to height, size, comparison, and more.
8. Solve Puzzles
As incredibly fun as puzzles are, they are proven cognitive development activities for infants. They offer a challenge to work towards a goal while stitching a story together. One of the simplest puzzles to introduce them to is a jigsaw puzzle and watch them learn comprehension, memory, and strategy. That’s not all, as they try to fit the small pieces of the puzzle into their nooks, their motor skills also improve.
9. Helping with Household Work
Encouraging your little one to participate in simple household work is not just a useful cognitive development activity, but it also teaches them valuable life skills. For instance, if you teach them how to match their socks and clothes together, they learn the correlation between different things. This is also a great way to learn how to take responsibility for their actions and develop empathy at an early age.
Also Read: 15 DIY Kid Friendly Activities for Toddlers
The Bottom Line
While there are many more cognitive skills activities, these top the charts when it comes to encouraging children to think, create, and learn. These activities lay the foundation to help your children share, negotiate, and build strong relationships in the future. Just remember to allow for mistakes and celebrate little successes while doing these cognitive development activities.
Raising Superstars helps you in your parenting journey through a framework of fun activities curated and developed by our team of experts.