Right from the day they are born, children begin developing skills that help them to participate, understand, and respond to their environment.They mostly make cognitive and physical developmental progress through play. While some activities may be associated with one particular area of development, ask any therapist for children, and they will agree that most play-centered activities contribute to a child’s overall cognitive and physical development. If you want to set your preschooler on the path to healthy child growth, here are 7 easy activities for cognitive development.
7 Child Development Activities
Many a therapist for children will recommend singing songs with your children. Play your child’s favorite music in the car and at home and you may find he starts to sing along on his own. This is a great activity to promote word and memory association.
Healthy child growth includes being able to identify noises. Have your child identify the noises she hears throughout the day, such as car horns and birds singing. She will then start to understand how sounds relate to objects in her surroundings.
Play with Textures
Children are sensory learners. They love to taste, smell, and touch to understand the world they live in. Grab a piece of cardboard and a dark marker and trace the letters of the alphabet. Then, have your child decorate the letters using textured items, like cotton balls, sandpaper, pasta, and felt. By touching the letters, children get to feel how a letter is formed and this, in turn, helps them get used to the shape before they even pick up a pencil.
A great way to encourage child development is to ask questions. This teaches your child to think for himself and discover how to problem solve. You could ask questions like “why should we always walk down the stairs and not run?” or “which toy should you pick up first when you clean your bedroom?”
Take Field Trips
Child development can’t only occur in the home, you need to get your child out and about to experience the world they live in. Head off to interesting places like local businesses, the library, or a museum to stimulate their curiosity and encourage a sense of wonder. The hands-on experience during a field trip allows your child to truly explore their world.
Child growth includes vocabulary growth, and you can help develop your child’s vocabulary by creating fun tunes and rhyming words. Before they can read, children are able to learn about nine new words per day. As a parent, you have a better chance of enhancing your child’s development by creating a fun and exciting world. Encourage singing all the time – while in the bath, while playing, or even while eating breakfast. You’ll find your child begins to start learning through song as he recites the days of the week, or numbers, for instance, to funny tunes.
Encourage Problem Solving
Encourage child growth by getting your child to try different problem solving methods. For instance, have them act out a skit, make a clay model, or paint a picture. Help her to keep trying until they find the solution that works best.
Physical Development from the Perspective of a Therapist for Children
Now that you understand how to encourage your child’s cognitive growth, what about his or her physical development? Physical skills are fun, and easy enough to practice at home throughout the day. Some activities you could try include:
- Help your child develop small motor skills by using Lego blocks, child-safe scissors, buttons, and dice.
- Join your child in active play by playing tag or catch-up with him, or simply set up an obstacle course to play in.
- Give your child the freedom and space needed to use her large muscles through activities such as swinging and climbing on playground equipment, running, and playing catch.
- Purchase equipment and toys that will enable the development of large muscles. For instance, small basketball hoops, hula hoops, tricycles, bean bags, and large, light balls.
- Ensure your child gets enough sleep and adequate nutrition to encourage his overall development.
- Have your child’s vision and hearing checked regularly. Even the smallest problem, when caught early on, can enhance child growth and motor skill development.
Healthy child growth during the preschool years allows your child to play and communicate in ways that weren’t possible in toddlerhood. With the right knowledge and a little planning, you can promote cognitive and physical development every day.
If you feel that your child may require assistance, you can book a Skye or telephone consultation with a therapist for children at Early Developmental Therapy Consultants. We specialize in helping parents who have children that need early intervention services.