How to Promote Your Child's Cognitive Development
A child’s cognitive development is largely shaped by the way they learn, acquire knowledge and interact with their surrounding environment. Different skills will be acquired as certain milestones are reached in cognition but any ability can benefit from activities which promote active learning. As a parent you should encourage your kids' cognitive abilities.
Here is a list of 10 Ways to stimulate your child's cognitive development:
1. Encourage your child to sing along!
Sing songs with your child and encourage him to sing along! Play his favorite tunes in the house or car regularly, he may eventually start singing for you all on his own. This activity helps promote memory retention as well as word identification which leads to better communication skills down the road.
2. Describe and identify noises
Have your child identify noises that he hears throughout the day (i.e., a bird singing, car horn). He will begin to understand how sounds relate and interact with objects in his everyday environment!
3. Practicing the alphabet
To help your child identify letters, sing along to “Alphabet Song” or read books about each letter and play with puzzles that feature them!
4. Count things every opportunity you get
One way to challenge your child and help them develop mental math skills is by practicing counting. Try counting their shoes in the closet or count how many slides there are at the park.
5. Practice shapes and colors when interacting with your child
You can say “That is a round, blue ball” or "That sign is red octagon." As he gets older ask him to describe objects in detail for you!
6. Give your child more choices
When you can, offer your child choices: "Would you like to wear the brown shorts or blue?" This will help him feel more independent and make confident decisions that affect his day.
When children are given options they may become more comfortable with making decisions for themselves while also learning how give an opinion about something.
7. Ask your child questions
Another way to help your child learn is by asking him questions: “Which toy should we pick up first when we clean up the living room? Or Why should I walk down these stairs slowly?" Asking about things that are happening in their environment and getting answers will make them better problem solvers.
8. Take your child to interesting Places
Take trips to your local children's museum, library or farmer’s market to stimulate his curiosity and provide him with "hand on" experiences Ask questions while you explore and listen for reactions that may help teach you something new about the world around us. These adventures are great ways of learning together!
9. Play around with everyday things
Encourage your child to play with everyday household items. Playing with the right material can be educational, fun and cost effective! Have him match various-sized lids or have you do a mirror game where he points out different parts of himself like nose, mouth etc..
10. Play a variety of games
One way to encourage creativity in your child is by playing a variety of games with them. You can build together using blocks and play "Peek-a -boo," or as they get older you could engage their imagination through board games, puzzles or hide 'n seek!