How to give your child’s brain a headstart?
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As parents, we all want the best for our children, whether that be in school, life, jobs, etc. however where do these all come from, CHILDHOOD. We as adults all got our start as a child obviously sounds simple right? However, children are still in this stage of learning and we as parents must help them out as best we can in their development into high-functioning and smart adults. So here are 5 tips on how to do just that!
5 top tips
There have been many studies on this subject according to the CDC “the first 8 years can build a foundation for future learning, health and life success”. Meaning this must be a primary focus of parents. So my first tip to help your children succeed in life is to start even before birth giving them the proper nutrition for them to develop the best they can while you are pregnant. You can do this by going to the CDC website and looking into it or researching other places at your own discretion. However, one thing is for sure, make sure to avoid drugs and alcohol which have been shown to cause significant complications.
Tip number two is to expose them to new and different environments around them. For example, if you were in Boston you could places like the lego discovery center or the museum of science. This exposure to new environments has been proven to help your child’s brain to develop, and to give them a sense of wonder for the things around them.
At number three, we need to keep our children away from consistent stresses. If your children are constantly stressed and neglected then they will be at a significant disadvantage in development and it could leave lifelong impacts on their mental and physical health.
Our fourth tip is consistently to play with your child. I know at times it can be difficult to balance all of the stresses and pulls of life however studies have shown that playing with your child can significantly help your child grow and learn. These games could be as simple as peek-a-boo or giving them a toy to play with. Or they could be something more complex like a brain game. Something else you can also try is singing to your child this helps foster creativity and brain development.
Lastly one of the best things you can do for your child is to read books or other articles to them. Now some of you are saying “but wait my child can’t even speak”. Surprisingly this doesn’t matter as much as you may think. Children can still start to pick up on things even if they don’t understand them. This is the same as an adult watching a show in another language to help them develop skills in that language or pick up social aspects of the culture.
However I must say make sure the book isn’t too advanced or the child will get little or nothing from it, so leave the research papers to yourself.
Activities to do with your children
As a little bonus If you are struggling to think of new activities to do with your children here are a few of my favorite things to do with my children.
Cook a tasty dish with them
This one is a classic and gives them a chance to learn some new skills at the same time. My favorite dish to cook with the kids is either a simple omelet, cookies, or some pancakes! Just make sure to keep them away from anything hot!
Have a fun scavenger hunt outside
This one requires a bit of set up but it is so worth it. My ideal setup for this activity is to have at least 2-3 checkpoints per se that the children have to find. I would usually give them some simple clues to find each checkpoint then have some treats or something at the end for their hard work.
Listen to a child-oriented podcast with them
There are some good ones to watch and/or listen to these days one of the best ones out there is called NPR’s “Wow in the world”.
Create new structures or sculptures with Play-doh
This one is a child’s favorite. Mine always loved to crack open a fresh container of this stuff and play with it for hours. Word of caution, however, either tell your kids to keep them separate or just buy multiple containers of the same color so they won’t mix and end up as a nasty-looking blob.
Create a big pillow fort in the living room
Even as an adult this is so fun to do with your children. This process could be as simple or complicated as you want it to be that the best part of it, you make it what you want it to be.
Become an artist
Lastly, nothing beats finger painting with your kids, and with Christmas coming up, it could be a great gift for your kids to give their grandparents!