In childhood, the brain experiences the fastest physical changes than at any other moment in life. The rapid growth that a child’s brain will experience is more receptive and accessible at this time, but is also the most vulnerable time in development as well. Because of this, parents are in no small part responsible for their child’s brain development. Their influence is instrumental in impacting the way their child acquires knowledge and skills essential for later in life.
A Healthy Environment
A child’s developing brain needs a stimulating environment. Not only does it need to be safe and warm, but also loving and nurturing. Talking to your child from infancy helps their brain start acquiring language skills, but more importantly, it receives emotional and social growth. Also, parents can sometimes overlook the importance of touch. Through touch (and body language) babies communicate on a much greater level, since they still don’t possess any language skills at this time. Due to this, it is extremely important that children receive a substantial amount of attention, kisses, hugs, and massages throughout their entire childhood. This helps develop more than one part of the brain associated with emotions.
Since the brain runs on oxygen, it is vital that children receive enough time outdoors and regularly participate in exercise. Swimming is an ideal exercise for all ages as it helps to develop muscles and capacity of the lungs to intake more oxygen.
Sleep Helps the Brain Recharge
Another very important part of brain development is sleep. A child should get at least 8-10 hours of quality sleep, which helps the brain recharge. The time before sleep is also a great way for parents to take time in letting their child sum up the day’s events, making sure to focus on the positives which initiates quality sleep and dreaming.
Food Helps in Growth
A healthy brain also needs healthy food in order to have the physical capacity to correctly develop. Foods rich in Omega-3 fats such as organic fish, eggs, and nuts are essential for good concentration and knowledge acquisition.
Play Time Is Essential
A child’s world revolves around play and parents should take full advantage of that. Almost all games serve as a function in brain development. Thus, parents can use games to help their child improve the parts of the brain that are developing slower or skills they are having a hard time acquiring. Motor functions are engaged through physical activity like playing catch, tricycle riding, swimming, or running; especially targeting the limbs and hand-eye coordination. However, cognitive functions are best improved through games that deal with imagination, language, concentration, and memory.
Memory games are essential in developing short and long-term memory in children. Not only that, but it is also a great way to develop a child’s learning methods. There are three different forms of learning: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Parents can target all three through games of memory, using either picture memory games, lists of words and repetition, or pantomime. These games also help in concentration.
Books Spark Imagination
Reading is another good brain developing activity. Teaching a child the value of reading helps their brain develop language skills. Also, it helps in creativity, imagination, and visualization. But, it is important that parents remember to read age-appropriate books until their child learns how to read on their own.
Toys Help throughout Childhood
Toys also greatly help in brain development. They impact a wide range of skills and knowledge acquisition from a very early age. Building puzzles and playing chess are ideal activities for engaging problem-solving skills and executive functions, while brick toys target spatial awareness and creativity. Toys are also a great way for sparking imagination and reinforcing/refining already acquired skill sets.
Developing through Music
Music is another important thing parents can use to help in brain development. Listening to music helps in stress relief; therefore, creating a positive, non-toxic atmosphere for the brain to grow. Another great thing is singing, which helps by impacting vocal and language skills. Furthermore, playing musical instruments helps imagination, while instruments such as drums, keyboards, and the piano help in the development of both the left and right hemisphere in equal measure, and their coordination.
Useful Computer Games
Playing children-friendly computer games can also help in brain development. They are a great way to have fun, learn, and get help with reaction speed, quick thinking, and memory retrieval. Furthermore, most games can help with specific fields such as kids’ mathematics games or language-based games.
Including children in your house work can also help develop their brain. Things like cooking, cleaning, and tidying up instill great values of cleanliness and self-reliance, but also helps build bonds between parents and children. Moreover, they help the brain develop refined emotional, motor, and social skills. Additionally, it improves the child’s self-worth, which is also essential.
In the end, it is important to remember that a child’s brain is full of potential, but is also vulnerable to their environment. By creating a challenging and influential environment, parents help in the development of their child’s brain and have a chance to correctly train it.
Do you know any other parenting tips on stimulating your child’s brain development? Let us know in the comments section below! And don’t forget to share this with your friends and family!