Brain-boosting Activities to Engage Your Toddler
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As a parent, it is amazing to see your child’s cognitive abilities rapidly develop in the initial years. The first time they crawl, their first step, their first word, oh how exciting
In fact, a child’s brain reaches 90% of its adult development by the age of 6 years^. And since children build their skills through observations, experiences, and interactions, it is important to Involve your child in activities that boost his/her brain development. Let’s take a look at a few such activities that are known to support brain development in childern1:
Activities For 18- To 36-Month-Olds:
Games that involve throwing and catching balls, hopscotch, imitation, etc. challenge your child’s attention, working memory, and self-control.
Conversation and Storytelling
Activities such as reading aloud stories from colorfully illustrated books, watching a play together, talking about feelings, questioning in-between, etc. encourage inquisitiveness and develop emotional regulation.
Fun matching/sorting games can teach kids about shape, size, and positioning while solving puzzles helps in developing their brain.
Play with your child, any game of their choosing where you can give directions and also allow him/her to direct you. This develops listening and communicative skills. It also teaches them to take and follow directions.
Story Telling by Child
Encourage the child to make up a story and share it or act it out with others to stimulate imagination and develop thinking skills. Group storytelling can be more interesting as one child will start and every child sitting there will have to contribute one by one. This will also challenge their attention and working memory.
Activities like yoga, matching, and sorting will encourage attention control and cognitive flexibility. Matching and sorting also require kids to understand the basic rules of organizing based on different rules – color, shape, etc.
Engage your child in movement games like dancing to a song or a specific rhythm and ask them to synchronize words to action and the music. This will contribute to inhibitory control and working memory.
Activities For 4-To 5-Year-Olds:
High-Level Imaginary Play
Ask your child to make rules, plan the play and give roles to everyone. This will encourage the child to plan in advance, hold these plans in mind, and execute them during the activity.
Ask questions like “How many biscuits do you want?” or “how many veggies are there on the plate”. You can also play the Hot and Cold game, only instead of telling them if they are getting closer to the hidden object, you can instruct them to “walk 4 steps to the right” and so on.
Give your kid basic instructions using terms like behind, under, inside, etc, and numbers.
Activities For 5-To 6-Year-Olds:
Engage your child in challenging games like parkour, obstacle courses, and games that encourage complex motions (skipping, balancing, etc.). This will teach them the need to focus, attention, monitor, and adjust their actions. It will also help with improving their coordination.
Card and Board Games
These games require players to remember and prove to be an exercise for working memory. Additionally, these games can also prove to be a lesson in patience.
Complicated Clapping Rhythms
Games like these improve coordination, working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility.
Though activities play an important role in brain development, the role of nutrition can never be ignored3. A balanced combination of both, healthy diet and physical and mental activities will contribute to your child’s all-around development. Along with regular food, giving your child Junior Horlicks helps them get complete nutrition. It is a healthy food drink that contains nutrients like Choline, Iron, Iodine, etc., which are known to support brain development, as well as calcium, Vitamin D, vitamin K & Protein which are known to support physical growth and development. It also contains nutrients such as Vit E, A, selenium & copper to support healthy immune function.