The human brain is truly a fascinating organ, well entirety of our body is but the brain in itself is amazing. As the rest of our body requires some form of exercise or training in order to remain at an optimum level of functionality, similarly our brains require exercises. Naturally, you can’t make your brain lift weights or make it jog so what do you do instead? Engage in cognitive activities and for preschoolers, it is especially helpful as it promotes better development of the brain and other mental skills.
What are Cognitive Skills?
Cognitive skills are the brain skills that enable an individual to think, reason, pay attention, and learn. As you can imagine different skills are required for different activities and combined together all of these are essential for processing the incoming information and recalling it when required, crucial for schools.
Improving your child’s Cognitive Skills
For adults, a different approach is required and they are often told to be engaged in mental games like sudoku and solve reasoning puzzles, however, in the case of children more fun and joyful activities are required. Here are seven ways by which you can enhance your child’s cognitive functionality.
1. Go in nature: Nature is one of the best remedies and teachers to us, as we ourselves are a part of it. Playing outside with children promotes better mental health by stimulating multiple senses at once and it also helps them with coordination. It is also observed that during a study session if a child is taking a break, it is way more beneficial if they step outside instead of staying indoors or using cellphones as not only does it relaxes them, it refreshes the mind as well. In fact, breaks that involved screen time actually were linked to slower growth of cognitive skills in toddlers.
2. Sing along: This is no secret, you must have noticed to yourself that you clearly remember the songs from your high school or even middle school. Not only do you remember the songs, but you can also recall the memories related to that specific song and feelings attached to it, which can’t be said even for your favorite subject. Scientists strongly recommend singing while playing with them or actually humming with your child as they sing aids in better memory and it also allows for quicker memorization.
3. Ask questions: Asking questions is another way by which you can enable their brains to process the situation and allow them to think for themselves. While picking their clothes just ask them what would they like to wear or during play sessions allow them to choose the toy by asking them first. Just because the research states that asking questions to children develops their brains, don’t go on asking about the existence and meaning of life.
4. Trips: This is not only beneficial for the child, but it is also a great way for parents to escape their monotonous regime and take a breather to spend more time with their family. As mentioned in the first point, nature develops the brain but all the nature appears similar to a preschooler, so in order to promote brain development take short trips to new places which they’ve never seen before. Also during the trips allow them to explore and expand their understanding, because there is no use in going to a new place if they are not allowed to explore. Going to interesting places like petting zoos and museums is highly recommended as they start to think and reason as they encounter animals in real life and see ancient items. If such places are not available nearby, simply going to a new part of the city or a shop will do as well.
5. Counting: There is a reason why our elders always used to ask us to count. Remember when you used to visit your grandparents? They always used to ask us if we can count more than the previous time. The reason behind this is that it enables their brain to learn basic knowledge that 3 is more than 2 and 9 is less than 10. As basic as it sounds, it is a skill that we all learned during our early years and it is one skill that will always remain important.
6. Identifying Noises: Another vital skill that promotes the rapid growth of cognitive skills is identifying noises. It can be noises of animals or household items, specific toys are made for this very task that plays sounds of animals. This promotes stronger memory and allows a child to be more attentive when they are outside and next time as soon as they will hear a similar noise they will instantly recall it and speak what makes this sound.
7. Chores: The thing is that they will have to do chores for the rest of their lives and there is no escape from it so might as well engage them in chores as soon as possible. But the catch here is that it should be fun for them as children are quick to drop activity that seems boring, so engage them in chores by asking them a question that what a specific product does or tell them you are showing them the magic of cleaning. Cooking is another activity that has been observed to increase cognitive skills in preschoolers, not only does it enhance their brain it also allows them to learn one of the most essential survival skills.
Apart from these activities, other things like arts and shape toys are also helpful but those are already a part of daycare so one shouldn’t be worried about them. As you can see from these activities, they are simple and can be done easily. Most families make sure to do them even without knowing how they enhance their child’s growth, so if you are trying to enhance your child’s cognitive skills just engage them in everything playfully.