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12 Effective Ways to Develop Your Child’s Brain

 As parents, it's okay to wonder if you're doing your best to help your baby and your young children develop their brains and thinking. Many factors shape the early development of the brain, such as nutrition, daily experiences, physical activity, warmth, and love, and you can expose your children to a rich variety of activities, which will also lead to stronger emotional communication between you both. So if you want to know whether you’re buying the right toys or telling the right stories, the following 12 tips will help you to help your children develop their brains and thinking.

 
Child brain development tips

1. Sign Language

A great way to communicate with children before they even start talking is through sign language. A study at the University of California found that babies whose parents spoke to them using hand signals started talking earlier and had higher IQs than those who spoke to them without hand signals. Try to move your hands as much as possible while talking, point to objects that you are speaking about, and while listening to songs and try to move your hands according to the meaning of the song so that your children learn to communicate better and faster.

2. Storytime

Although you may think your baby doesn’t understand what is being said around him, creating a routine of reading a bedtime story is a crucial factor in your child's mental development. If you continue to spend time reading a bedtime story, not only will you help your child develop language and thinking, but they will first encounter problems and fears that arise from the stories, thus acquiring tools and getting ideas for ways to deal with such situations.

Also, reading together will create a deeper connection between you and your child, and allow them to feel secure and cherish the time spent with you.In light of today's technological advancements, it is important to continue to read stories to babies and young children so that they can learn how to use their imagination to bring life to the characters depicted in the story and not only depend on movies telling them how they should look.

Child brain development tips

3. Healthy diet

In order to help your children develop their brains and thinking, it is important to watch the food they eat and the frequency of meals consumed daily. First, it is very important to start each day with a healthy breakfast that will help improve memory and brain development. Second, it is recommended to consume foods containing antioxidants, which will help improve your child’s memory. Omega 3 helps improve cognition, and foods such as salmon, tuna, avocado, walnuts, and almonds are a great source of this essential ingredient.

4. Musical instruments

It is highly recommended that you make music an integral part of your children's lives. Various studies on the impact of music on young children have found that listening to music improves the memory, attention, and desire of the child to learn and gain additional knowledge. Moreover, music can reduce stress that can be devastating to your child's brain as it develops. If your child not only hears music but also play it themselves, it will have a positive influence on their spatial thinking processes and will build the foundations for solving abstract mathematical problems.

In a study conducted in Hong Kong, children who were active participants in music class at school significantly improved the cognitive functioning of their brains. In addition, it was found that listening to music during the lesson improves memory and leads to good memory test results compared to those who do not listen to music. The researchers added that the earlier the child is exposed to music and studies with music, the better their memory would be.
Child brain development tips

5. Breathing exercises

Deep breathing exercises help to improve memory and teach control. The main advantage of these exercises is that children like to do them, so it is recommended to perform breathing exercises frequently. Place your children in a calm and peaceful atmosphere and tell them to lie on their backs and continue to breathe naturally. Then perform the "elevator breath" and guide them according to the following steps:

  • Imagine your breathing controls an elevator that goes up and down your body. To get the elevator moving, start breathing through your nose.
  • Exhale, and imagine that the elevator has reached all the way down to your toes.
  • Breathe in, take the elevator up to the chest and hold your breath for a few seconds. Then breathe out.
  • Breathe in and lift the elevator to your throat, into your face, and into your forehead. Feel your head fill with air and hold your breath for a few seconds. Then breathe out and feel the elevator take the worries and problems down your chest, stomach, and legs, and out of your body.
  • This soothing technique will not only improve your child's memory but will also make them feel that they have more control over their body and as a result, over their lives.

6. Personal space

Sometimes it seems like little children need to be entertained every waking hour, but the truth is they also need a time when they can keep themselves busy. Give your baby an open and safe space where they can play alone and learn certain things themselves, under your supervision of course. This means that once a specific area of the house has been dedicated to this purpose, which includes moving sharp or heavy objects, let them play with clocks, books, dolls and other games appropriate for their age.

If you allow your child to move freely in the space and engage themselves with new and different objects, you’ll be helping them develop their attention span, which will significantly improve their academic achievements in the future. In addition, the games played at this time will allow the brain to make more connections through the actions it performs.

Child brain development tips

7. Nurture a healthy relationship

Many studies have found a direct link between warm relationship and cooperation with the child, and the development of their intelligence. In addition, it was shown that infants who did not receive attention from their parents in the form of touch, affectionate words, or playing together did not show complete brain development, and those who experienced extreme alienation suffered a severe delay in their brain and emotional development. Therefore, it is important to shower your baby with love, since the connection that exists between you both provides the basis for their thinking skills, which will determine their development and future.

 

8. Pets

Many parents refrain from bringing an animal into their home while their child is still a baby, for one reason or another, but having an animal at home helps the baby's brain to develop better both emotionally and cognitively. The relationship that can be created between an animal and your baby can be useful in building social skills and in learning accepted and desirable behavior. It should be noted that dogs can help the baby understand social situations and emotions more than cats. If your pet is part of your life even before a baby has joined the family, expose it gradually and carefully to the new and important resident in your home. 

Child brain development tips

9. Choosing toys

When choosing toys for your toddler, try to buy not only toys that look "cool" but also those that will enrich and challenge them. Classic toys, like building blocks, can help develop your child's imagination. Another example a Jack in the Box, and through it, your child will learn cause and effect; "If then," "If I turn the knob, the nice clown will suddenly appear." In addition, it is recommended to encourage children to play with cardboard boxes or anything else that can develop their imagination and creativity. 

10. Involvement in the kitchen

There is usually a tendency to keep small children out of the kitchen because they are more messy than helpful, but you should know that involving small children in the kitchen will help them develop mathematical abilities and improve their spatial vision. So next time you cook, bring your child close, explain to them that they are responsible for helping you cook or bake a dish for the whole family.

You can ask your child to pass you exactly 8 potatoes, so you can make perfect mashed potatoes, or add 4 cups of cold water to the bowl, and everything from counting and measuring. This will lead to quality time spent together, as well as to improving your child's actual brainpower while enjoying the fun of cooking.

Child brain development tips

11. Sports exercises

Encourage your children to engage in physical activity, not only to be stronger, but also to be smarter because exercise increases blood flow to the brain and builds new brain cells. Exercising is also beneficial for greater thinking in adults, but it has a longer-term effect on younger children, whose brains are still developing.

12. Verbal encouragement to explore what is going on

When you take family trips, clean your house or go shopping, try to use your free time to talk to your children and help them explore what is going on. This is because there is a direct correlation between the number of words your children hear and their verbal IQ, meaning that the more you talk to them, the better their vocabulary will be. You can do this by sharing your perspective on the experiences you're going through, for example: "Look at the cute little dog running around in the park," "Did you hear the fire alarm that went off?" and so forth.

Another great way to challenge your child’s mind and memory is to change the position of their high-chair to a different side of the dining table or move their play area. This will expose them to a different view of the places and events they are used to seeing. Doing so will give your child an additional perspective that will expose them to more details in the same environment.

image source: Miville Tremblay   Oliver Quinlan  clappstar  Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería  ben.timney  Jessica Lucia
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