When it comes to your child’s development, we know one of the most important things to consider is whether or not they have stimulating activities to engage in to help keep the mind active and always learning. A variety of brain-boosting activities is key to ensuring strong and healthy brain development.
The kind of brain development we’re talking about is cognition, or cognitive development, which just refers to how your child’s mind works and the way they learn and think. Cognition is developed through the practice of memory, visual, and thinking skills, as well as through the way they experience the world around them.
Also, while the human brain develops throughout life, it is most malleable and influenced during these early years, so it’s especially important to proactively engage your child in meaningful activities that will help develop cognition.
Because preschoolers (kids ages 3–5) are such active learners, a great deal of their learning comes from play: interactions, exploration, and just plain doing! Learning through play is so important because it provides an abundance of stimulating opportunities for children to practice problem solving and develop cognition.
Play, exploration, and interactions—these all take place when adults engage with kids. And who better to create these engaging opportunities for kids than the adults at home with them?
One-on-one engagement between a child and an adult is one of the very best ways to initiate cognitive development. That’s why we suggest that you join in on many of the stimulating, brain-boosting activities recommended here; in fact, some of them require your adult expertise to create meaningful, brain-stimulating experiences that support cognition!
Here are 4 brain-boosting activities that are sure to help stimulate your child’s mind and help with cognitive development:
1. Sing and Play Music
If you’re looking to really engage your child in learning through play, what better way to do it than through music? Whether it’s playing an instrument, singing along to a favorite song, or simply listening and enjoying, your child can gain so much from the stimulating experience of song!
The brain-boosting benefits of music are plentiful. A child who sings along to their favorite song or makes up their own rhyming lyrics is exposed to new vocabulary, and they also learn to match language sounds.
You can also play a variety of genres of music for your child and then engage them in conversation about the music: what instruments do they hear? What do they like or not like about what they’re hearing? This kind of stimulating conversation can expose them to a wider vocabulary, as well as help them with their concentration and communication skills.
Singing or playing music can also help develop their math skills, as it turns out. Engaging with and understanding rhythm, melody, and musical beats can support pattern recognition and correspondence skills.
And, of course, we here at BümoBrain have got you covered. The BümoBoogie Line Online Class is the perfect activity to expose your child to music early on and start boosting that brain power with the benefits of song and dance!
2. Read Books
This one may seem the most obvious of all. After all, when has anyone ever recommended that you not read to your child or invite your child to begin reading along with you? The benefits are endless, and when it comes to initiating a productive brain-boosting activity, reading has got you covered.
When reading with your little one, engage them in meaningful conversation by asking questions they can answer about the book you’re reading together.
This way, you support the development of their literacy skills. This includes introducing them to new vocabulary and increasing their language and communication skills. Books that involve the alphabet, colors, and shapes are best for the preschool age range.
Once again, BümoBrain has got you covered with the Readers Superstar Live Online Class: yet another ideal opportunity for your child to actively practice their reading skills in a fun-filled, high-engagement environment!
3. Play Games
Of course, we can’t stress enough the importance of learning through play, which provides your child a chance to participate in highly active and engaging activities that reinforce learning through experience.
Growing research shows how learning through play—specifically with games—improves executive function, a major part of cognitive development.
Playing games and playing pretend can be highly beneficial. When you encourage your child to work on puzzles or pretend play going grocery shopping, you support their problem solving skills and expose them to abstract thinking and conceptualization, as well as understanding how numbers and letters work.
Set up scavenger hunts or play “Simon Says” with your child to help them develop language, critical thinking, and self-regulation skills. These games also prepare them for various modes of learning, which they’re likely to encounter in their academic future.
The BümoBrain Reader’s Theatre Line Online Class engages kids in the most play-based activity out there: acting! And it does so with exposure to reading and storytelling, as well.
4. Play with Building Materials
Playing—or rather, simply employing—with building materials, such as blocks, can help your little one develop their higher order thinking skills. These are the skills needed for more advanced critical thinking and problem solving.
The design and problem solving required in block play experiences not only serves as a brain-boosting activity, but it also prepares them for technology-based learning!
In block play, kids can design, organize, analyze problems, understand patterns, and come up with solutions. This kind of stimulating play is sure to keep your child engaged, and it will strengthen their STEM skills for the future.
These activities are sure to build your child’s cognitive development in new and exciting ways, and all from the safety of home.