Every parent wants the best for their child, so they devote everything to giving them what they need to learn and master various skills. One such area contributing to children’s success is cognitive development, which concerns how children intake information, acquire knowledge and connect to their environment. As children reach developmental milestones, they’ll unlock different cognitive skills and develop them further.
However, if you want to improve your child’s cognitive development even more, you can do plenty of activities that will vastly benefit them. As they grow older, they’ll retain information more quickly, think critically, and sharpen their focus, helping them succeed as early as pre-school. They’ll have an easier time identifying the connections between ideas, develop analytical thinking, and draw the relationship between cause and effect. Here are five activities to do with your little one that will encourage cognitive development in them:
1. Ask Open-Ended Questions
When you play with your child, be sure to ask them open-ended questions. Since they’ll have to answer with more than a yes or a no, they’ll be forced to refine their language skills, inferencing, and verbal comprehension.
For instance, when your child is scribbling, ask them what they want to draw or the colors they want to use. If they play with toy trains or airplanes, ask them where they think they should go. These kinds of questions will improve their comprehension, vocabulary, and inferential reasoning.
2. Encourage Them to Sing
Singing is a simple activity, especially when you sing a song your child heartily enjoys. Encourage them to sing with you, as they’ll start improving their memory and word identification. Soon, they’ll begin to sing by themselves, introducing them to new words and concepts. It also enhances their auditory sequencing or the order of sounds, information processing, and other skills crucial to cognitive development.
3. Engage in Make-Believe Play
A person’s imagination is most fertile when they are young, so make the most out of this stage by engaging in make-believe activities with them. Encourage them to choose different roles to show you what they’ve been learning and acquire a better understanding of other people’s perspectives.
Make-believe play also helps children learn how to develop and stick to a plan. It will also improve the development of their memory, especially as they repeat themes and actions as they try role-playing various kinds of characters. They’ll expand their vocabulary, improve their cognitive flexibility, see different perspectives, and work on their problem-solving.
4. Visit Museums or Other Educational Centers
Museums are excellent places for children to learn new things, given the interactive displays and bright, colorful exhibits. Experts will dispense digestible, exciting information that can foster an interest in your children, sparking a passion that brings them joy and excitement.
Take note of your child’s interests and bring them to the most relevant museum. If they’ve shown an interest in dinosaurs, take them to a science museum that delves deep into the earlier years of the Earth. If they’re curious about the sky, take them to a planetarium. They’ll learn more about the planets and other celestial objects, enriching their logical thinking and visualization skills.
5. Play Strategic Board Games
One of the best ways to cultivate skills in your child is through games, especially those that require a strategy to win. Games like chess improve children’s logical thinking and problem-solving, encouraging them to seek solutions independently. Teach your child about the rules of each game and play together, which will enrich their cognitive skills as they start to understand the game’s mechanics.
There are many ways to encourage your child’s cognitive development and help them learn important skills that will take them far in life. By doing these five activities regularly with your little one, they’ll quickly absorb new skills and develop at a faster rate.
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