Feb 23, 2021 Looking to boost your baby’s brainpower? While child brain development progresses naturally as your child ages, there are brain development activities to help the brain grow more neural connections. From simple activities to learning games for kindergarten-aged children, there’s something for every child to increase brain development!
In This Article
Based on Jean Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development, children learn differently from adults. They rely highly on their environment and their senses compared to logical reasoning. This means children depend on positive interactions, care, love, and exploration to increase brain development. To help your child’s brain form connections faster, try some of the following engaging brain development activities!
Child Brain Development Activities
Play Games Involving Hand Movements
Since children learn better by using their senses like touch and sight, teach your child to play games involving hand movements. These types of brain development activities include Patty Cake, Peekaboo, and hand puppets to help your child learn interaction with nonverbal cues (hand motions), language, and sight.
Make a Mess
Yes, you should encourage your baby, preschooler, or kindergartner to make a mess! Although it makes for an extra clean up for you, brain development activities like mess-making increase your child’s understanding of the world around them by exploring their senses. When a child makes a mess with food, dirt, sensory bins, and more they are activating most or all of their five senses at once.
Let’s look at an example: If your baby is allowed to make a mess with his or her food, your baby is…
- Discovering the texture and temperature of the food through touch
- Hearing the squishing and mashing of food between his/her fingers
- Seeing how the food moves when squished
- Tasting the food to discover different fruits and vegetables
- Smelling a food with his/her nose and recognizing scents he/she likes
An early love of reading fuels the development of increased brain connections for understanding and eventually using language in everyday conversations. For children, the peak time to begin reading to a child is immediately! Even if you have a newborn baby, early reading is the perfect opportunity to begin developing your child’s brain connections for early language.
Explore Through Climbing
Of course, climbing develops a child’s gross motor skills, but this is one of the brain activities for kids that boosts balance, coordination, and spatial awareness. Learning games for kindergarten-aged children include recess time on the playground that includes climbing on playground toys. So how exactly does climbing help child brain development?
Brain activities for kids like climbing:
- Increase concentration
- Help your child problem-solve (deciding where their hands and feet go to best climb an object)
- Helps the brain over time develop logical thinking skills like visualization (pre-planning through visualizing their route to climb up an object)
- Increases a child’s confidence and determination
Physical touch is greatly associated with boosting brainpower in babies and small children! According to Development and Psychopathology, researchers discovered toddlers who were held and cuddled less by caregivers were more distressed in their DNA profile and had slower developmental progress. So the next time you feel like you’re holding or cuddling your baby too much, don’t feel bad! Instead, continue to cuddle with your child through their toddler years and beyond to boost brainpower!
Repeat After Me
This is one of the learning games for kindergarten-aged children that can be played anywhere! Simply, have your child repeat a beat when you clap your hands. With time, your child will learn to count along to each beat learning that numbers are more than just repeating words. They will begin to learn simple math basics and notice patterns in everyday life.
Once your toddler begins to speak, ask questions related to everyday life. Asking questions about everything you do throughout the day related to the activity you are doing. If you’re doing a cooking lesson with your child, ask questions about what to do next or what your child thinks will happen when combining ingredients. Example: “What will happen when we put the sugar cookies in the oven?”
Questions increase child brain development by putting your child on the path to logical thinking. Plus, it also increases their curiosity about the world around them!
Child brain development occurs on its own throughout a child’s life. However, 90% of brain development is complete by the time your child enters kindergarten. To make sure your child is reaching his or her full potential in regards to brain development try to add in some of the above brain development activities each day!
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