As kids grow, they need to develop a healthy brain to perform cognitive activities with ease. Cognitive health involves developing mental processes such as intuition, language, judgment, ability to remember, focus, learn new things, and interact with the surrounding environment. These skills enable kids to grasp cause and effect, understand the relationships between ideas and improve analytical skills. Children should develop varying mental skill sets as they meet different developmental milestones.
There are various activities that parents can engage in with their children to promote cognitive health. If you’re a parent seeking to boost your kid’s cognitive health, here are simple but effective ways to do so.
Feed Their Brain
A simple way of boosting your child’s cognitive health is to provide supplements for the brain. There is a strong connection between our guts and our brains, so a healthy gut means a healthy brain. Your child’s brain also needs certain vitamins and minerals to be able to function as its best, and we don’t always receive all these vitamins and minerals in our modern diets. Some supplements are said to aid in thinking clearly and quickly toward the end of accomplishing tasks. There are supplements that boost brain health, which you can read about in this full article.
Introduce Colors and Shapes
As you interact with your child, identify different colors and shapes. When you go to play in the yard, help your child recognize shapes and colors by mentioning the shapes and colors of the items you see. We often play “I Spy” in the car or while walking, which helps the kids notice things around them. Reading books together is another great time to discuss shapes and colours on the pages of their favourite story.
Instead of naming the object, describe its shape and color. For instance, you can hold out a ball and say, “Catch this round, red ball!” If you are at the park, you can ask your child if he wants to go down the green slide or the red slide.
In the house, you can pick toys with different shapes and colors and ask kids to identify them. Such exercises help children develop memory and learn new information. Game nights and puzzles are practical for older children who need to expand cognitive skills relating to colors and shapes.
Psst… the Lovevery Analyst Play Kit has some great toys for teaching kids about colours in fun ways!
Outdoor Sports and Taking Trips
Outdoor sporting activities and visiting exciting places are great ways to encourage cognitive health in kids. Playing outside stimulates different senses and encourages imagination in kids. Taking your kids to exciting places like libraries, museums, farmers’ markets, and other public spaces can stimulate their curiosity. It also offers them new learning experiences and gives them hands-on experiences.
Give Your Child Choices
Giving your child an opportunity to choose is the other simple but highly effective way to enhance their cognitive health. Instead of making decisions for your child throughout the day, identify opportunities to offer him a choice. For instance, you can allow them to choose the color of pants they want to wear or the type of snack they’d like to have. You can ask them whether they prefer to wear blue pants or black ones.
Giving kids a chance to make choices makes them feel important. It gives them a sense of independence and increases their confidence to make decisions that affect their day-to-day lives.
Ask Your Child Questions
The other simple way to boost cognitive health in children is to ask them questions. When you get home from work, asking your child questions and allowing them to answer them is a great way to teach him how to think for himself. The questions don’t have to be complex; they can be about the stuff you do every day.
You can ask your child to tell you which toy should be picked first when you clean the living room. Alternatively, you can ask your child to tell you why they need to come down the stairs slowly. Asking questions enables children to understand their environment better and develop problem-solving skills. As they respond to the questions, their communication skills are further developed too.
Say the Alphabet
Although saying the alphabet with your kids may sound simple, it can boost his cognitive health significantly. Practicing the alphabet enables kids to identify letters fast and with ease. You can enhance your child’s cognitive health by singing the alphabet song, playing alphabet puzzles, and reading alphabet books together.
Some playful activities that can help your child learn the alphabet include cutting out bright colored squares with a single letter, mixing them up and taping them on different surfaces, and encouraging your kids to find other letters.
Alternatively, you can work with numbers too. The idea is to get them to recognize and recall characters and figures.
Cognitive health is crucial for kids, particularly if they have learning or behavioral challenges. If you’re looking to boost your kid’s cognitive health, applying the six strategies discussed above can help you achieve this goal.