Cognitive development is important for any child, but it can be especially crucial if your child suffers from any behavioral or learning challenge. If you want to help your child improve cognitive skills in the new year, here are 10 ways your family can make cognitive development a priority in 2020.
1. Play Outside
Outdoor playtime has been shown as a particularly effective way to improve cognition in kids. Playing outdoors helps cognitive skills by stimulating multiple senses, encouraging imagination, and more. Instead of playing indoors or using screens during downtime, schedule intentional outdoor playtime as much as you can.
2. Go on Field Trips
One important way to improve cognitive development for your kids is to regularly expose them to new environments. Don't just stick to your regular routine. Schedule field trips to new places in town, like museums, parks, zoos, aquariums, playgrounds, and more.
3. Put on Music
Music is a great tool for helping promote the development of many important cognitive skills. Music can encourage kids to development coordination (when dancing), as well as memory and word identification, sensory perception, and more.
4. Learn Shapes and Colors
Teach your kids about shapes and colors, then help improve cognitive skills by going over them regularly. Pick out toys of different shapes, then ask your child to identify the shapes. Do the same things with toys of different colors. These exercises can help with learning information and developing memory. For older kids, puzzles or family game night are great ways to reinforce cognitive skills related to shapes and colors.
5. Ask a Lot of Questions
When you go throughout your day, ask your child a lot of questions and wait for them to answer. Being asked questions encourages your child to think for themself and having to answer promotes communication skills.
6. Encourage Help With Chores
Once your child is old enough, encourage your child to help with household chores to promote cognitive development. Chores can boost hand-eye coordination and help your child develop problem-solving skills.
7. Do Art Projects
Art projects can help boost kids' imagination and ability to come up with images and ideas. In addition, art projects can also help children simultaneously develop their fine motor skills.
8. Look in the Mirror
Looking in the mirror can be a great exercise for little ones who are developing cognitive skills. When your child looks in the mirror, have them make faces associated with different emotions. Playing with mirrors can help children develop their own self-image. This will also help a child identify and express emotions appropriately.
9. Play Pretend
Playing pretend is a great way to encourage cognitive development in kids. Not only does playing pretend encourage the use of imagination, it can also be a powerful tool for developing social skills in kids.
10. Get into Sports
Sports aren't just for developing strong bodies. Recent research shows that sports help develop strong minds in kids, too. Sports, especially extracurricular team sports, help kids develop important skills like concentration, cooperation, and more.
Focusing on cognitive development in kids in the home is a good way to promote cognitive skill improvement as family. For extra help, get in touch with Brain Balance Achievement Centers. Our experts can help your child determine where and how they struggle, then work with them to ensure they are developing all the cognitive skills that they need to thrive and grow. For over a decade, we’ve helped over 40,000 children improve the critical skills needed to create a brighter path for their future. You can also view the research and results of the program on the website.