Activities to Improve Early Development

Mom and Baby sensory activities

 

People may associate school with learning, but while the world of academia may revolve around schools and other institutions of learning, it can actually happen anywhere and everywhere – especially when it comes to young children. The world is full of things for kids to explore and it is important that they experience as much as possible. Encourage kids to observe, ask questions, and invite them to start learning (and never stop) by inspiring cognitive and language development with these fun, everyday activities.

Textures on Textures

Young kids, namely toddlers, tend to be sensory learners, exploring the world around them with touch, smell, and taste. It’s no wonder that kids love putting their toys in their mouths, or grabbing everything within reach. Keeping this in mind, think of textures, scents and other dazzling things that can grab your child’s attention as well as teach them about the things they see every day. Arts and crafts can allow kids to get tactile with things like beans, cotton balls, pastas, and pipe cleaners. You can even incorporate sensory learning into reading as well! Books aimed at infants are often bulky and made from touch cardboard with the intention that kids will want to touch them or even try to bite them – so let them! Even if your toddler is gnawing on a book instead of reading it, they are becoming familiar with the object in a way they know how. Let kids trace letters, get messy with finger paints, and experiment with other objects they can touch and feel, or even smell and taste depending on the materials you have available.

Measure for Measure

Kids may not totally understand the US measurement system in inches or feet yet, but they can become more familiar with the concept of measuring. Instead of using rulers and tape measures, ask your kids to measure things around the house in objects they are more familiar with: How tall is the table in Legos? How long is the kitchen counter in apples? This can easily turn into a fun game that allows kids to use more familiar sensory objects to understand more abstract ideas and concepts.

Get Labeling

For apprentice readers, reading anything and everything is practice. When making a meal, ask kids to read off the labels of ingredients to you or ask them to help you work your way through the dinner menu. Slap labels on everyday household objects, even the tables and chairs, to get kids used to the idea of reading and making connections. Aside from labeling, you can also make it a habit to ask kids about what letters are in the words of the things around them – What letter does “light” start with? How many objects around the house start with the letter T?

With these everyday activities you can improve early development in children and provide a life long love of learning.

It’s Never Too Early to Learn to Read

Reading is a key skill that can help with academics as well as in life. Critical thinking, understanding abstract concepts, effective communication and a slew of other skills can develop once basic reading fundamentals are mastered. On average, kids learn to fully read on their own by age 6 or 7, but reading shouldn’t wait for that age to start. Reading can start from the moment your child is born. There are many benefits to reading to your newborn, and it can be more helpful (and in more ways) than you think.

Quality Time

Even if your child is a newborn, reading to them can be extremely beneficial. They get used to your voice and they can experience the quiet calm that comes with storytelling. Even if your child cannot understand the details of the story you’re telling them, they are slowly becoming more acquainted with language and with you.

Brain Boosting

Research shows that the more words a baby is exposed to, the better prepared they are to start reading on their own when they’re old enough. Exposing kids to language can help them develop speaking and reading skills faster and it can also help them build an impressive vocabulary. Studies have shown that children who were read to as newborns generally have a larger vocabulary, as well as more advanced mathematical skills, than other kids their age.

It Still Garners a Response

Many parents who read to their newborns may actually notice their little one responding to the rhythmic movement of their parent’s voice with their little arms and legs. Reading has proven to help children learn to listen but also to see and hear what is around them, often eliciting a personal response as they become more familiar and try to interact, too.

Getting Emotional

Reading can help kids of all ages learn to empathize and sympathize. Older children learn to see the world through someone else’s eyes, exposing them to different hardships, problems, and general perspectives. For younger children, simply the tone of voice can say a lot about how a character is feeling as well. Your child can develop key listening skills that can communicate emotion and feeling without using outright words or simply stating so.

Visual Excursions

Since many children’s books include pictures and illustrations, reading to your child can open their minds to images, pictures, symbols, and more. Plus, the visual correlation between the story and the images on the page can help kids develop skills that will allow them to imagine and understand abstract concepts as they get older.

Making Reading Fun

Making it a part of your regular family routine will teach your child that reading is something to be enjoyed, not a chore that needs to be done for school.

How To Boost Your Child’s Memory

As time goes on and as people age, certain things may become more difficult. Retaining information and remembering certain things can become increasingly challenging, and as a result memory games are making a comeback among adults of all ages in hopes of boosting their memory skills and their overall brain functionality. It is never too early to promote a healthy brain, and there are plenty of ways parents can help boost their child’s memory. Whether you are helping a child who struggles with retaining information or is studying for a big test, or even if you are simply looking for fun, interactive games your children can play that will also boost their brain power, then here are some ways you can help hone your child’s memory.

Practice Visualization Skills

After reading a book, going on a trip, or even after a long day at school, ask your child to draw some pictures about what they did that day or what happened. Visualization is a great memory tool, not only for improving your child’s overall ability to remember details and keep them fresh in their mind, but it also helps with understanding abstract concepts and communicating abstract ideas.

 

Visual Memory Games

Speaking of visualization, visual memory games can help to significantly boost this area of your child’s brain. There are plenty of games like this on the market whether they are video games, apps, or physical board games. You can also make up your own games as well – ask your child to circle every instance of the word “the” in a magazine or play “I Spy” with the letters in license plates that drive past you on your next outing.

The Student Becomes the Teacher

If your child is struggling with a particular subject in school, ask them to teach you about it. This may be difficult at first, but they can start out by telling what they know before delving into what gives them pause. From there, as kids begin to explain the subject matter, they may develop a different understanding of it. By switching their point of view, kids can learn how approaching subjects from different angles can not only help broaden their understanding, but it can help them find out which methods help them learn best. Plus, kids will have to call upon their memory in order to teach you, whether they are teaching you about their homework or about the rules to a game they enjoy. Outside of schoolwork, this exercise can be applied to fun things and whatever interests your child has.

Playing Cards

Card games rely on memory a great deal, whether you are playing Uno, Go Fish or War. This can be a more indirect approach to building memory skills, plus these classic games can be played anywhere. Your child will have to keep the rules of the game in mind while also actively remembering what cards they have as well as which one’s other people have played.

Active Reading

Active reading can mean anything from taking notes and highlighting sections to asking questions and reenacting scenes from the last chapter. Adding additional activities to reading can not only make reading more fun and engaging, but it can help kids make connections and better remember the events of the story.