Cognitive development in pre-school children depends on many factors such as family, environment, genetics, culture, etc. Still, first 6 years of life and especially when they reach 6 years of age, children have the biggest cognitive potential in their whole life.
Adequate and systematic stimulation, especially during the first three years of life helps to develop this enormous capacity. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that parents realize that there is no such thing as being too young to learn something or too young to be presented with a specific problem or situation.
First Six Years Of Life Should Be Filled With Experience
The first important idea that parents of a newborn should have is that every child comes into the world with an enormous capacity to learn. So much so that at 6 years a child has already learned to understand oral language, read a written language, recognize an object by touch, walk upright, talk about abstract things and write.
These six functions are unique to the human cerebral cortex and no other being on earth possesses them. Most importantly, they are the foundation and the basis for all subsequent learning. The more assumed these automated functions are, the more likely the children are to succeed later in life.
It Is All About Proper Guidance
It is important to understand that none of these basic functions are too difficult or demanding for a child to comprehend. People are born with a great number of neurons that die out every day during the life, and therefore, early years are the perfect time to exercise the brain cells and create stimuli that will lead to the maximum cognitive capacity. This means that children should be exposed to rich home environment from day one.
Starting out from simple activities to develop the sense of touch, smell, coordinated movement, hearing and sight, parents can do a lot for their children. If guided right, without pressure, even two-year-olds will gladly want to try to learn how to read.
There Are Many Fun Activities For Stimulating The Brain
Parents can help their children develop their skills by observing the stages in cognitive development depending on the age of the child. The activities can be targeted in the areas of math (counting games, numbers, etc.), language (storytelling, reading stories, singing songs, etc.), concentration (puzzles, construction games, cards, etc.) and creativity (art and music, drawings, collages, painting, clay, putty, etc.).
Providing Nutritious Food
Another factor that can spur cognitive improvement of the brain is healthy food. Kids’ growing bodies need sufficient nutritional elements from a fresh and diverse diet. Food high in protein, like fresh meat, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables, help the brain gain mass during childhood. Also, food rich with Omega-3 essential fats (fish, nuts, eggs, etc.), allow better concentration, improving logical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Allowing The Brain To Rest
During sleep, the brain is able to recharge, and can process, and store all the necessary information it has collected over the day. This is why a child’s brain needs up to ten hours of continuous, quality sleep to re-energize and rest. To ensure kids always have a good night’s sleep, use the time just before bedtime to focus on fun events, and their positive daily achievements. Creating a sense of comfort and well-being, allows them to have good dreams, which will spark imagination, and improve creativity.
An Important Role Of Early Learning Centers
Fortunately, more and more kindergartens, even some educational institutions, are realizing the need to provide young children with opportunities to learn. No one expects children to be exceptionally gifted or geniuses, but this helps them develop all abilities within themselves in order to grow up to be balanced and intelligent people. Enrolling kids into a child care centers from an early age is extremely beneficial for many different reasons.
Responsible parents who know that they cannot spend all their time with their children are well aware of the fact that kids can get the best possible service and learning opportunities in controlled environment like the one in a learning center. Kids have to face their problems and difficulties early on, thus becoming stronger in many fields, not only cognitive one. Their social behavior and interaction with other kids can help with overall development and readiness to learn and enjoy new things.
Be Careful With Technology
Today, we have a lot of modern technologies. While their use can help a child a lot with a cognitive development, it is important to take special care about the time that a child spends using those as well as the content they are exposed to. Even though these modern devices can help a child learn a lot, a possible misuse and even addiction can occur if the child’s time with the device is ignored. No matter how useful these gadgets are parents should always try to encourage the child to try some manual and traditional activities that are, were and will be the main source of powerful brain stimuli.
Do not underestimate your child. Adults may not remember, but first 6 years of life are incredibly valuable because children perceive and acquire things in their own way and at a much faster pace than any other time in life. Therefore, the most noble and right thing for a parent to do is to allow the child to learn and explore the world as much as possible.