Even though apparently difficult to trace, a toddler develops his mental abilities rapidly after the first year. Apart from nourishment, they are ways and activities that can enhance an infant’s cognitive development. It is by catering to his/her various special needs through each stage, you can you boost his mental development.
Boosting a toddler’s cognitive development through easy plays and tricks!
Physical development is easy to spot in infants and toddlers, but tracing his/her cognitive development requires closer attention. As important it is to feed the baby properly for a healthy bodily growth, it is equally essential to pay careful attention to the toddlers mental growth.
Food, of course, has a huge role to play in it, for without the right kind of nutrients, mental development can slow down. Also, there are typical activities and easy tips to ensure and enhance your kid’s mental development after his/her first year.
By the time toddlers are a year old, they are very active and alert! This period is very vital that will form a strong base for their coming years. So, here are a few simple tricks to boost the toddler’s cognitive development.
12 months onwards
Your child has come a long way and can talk in fragments now. This period is very vital that will form a strong base for his coming years. Pay attention to the following details.
- Ask simple questions-
Spend a lot of time with your baby, asking him/her simple questions like “where are your ears?”, “Where’s papa?” or “Where are your toes?” You will see him gradually pointing out correct details. Also, praise him/her in short sentences when he/she is right. These help in cognitive development for he/she feels encouraged to communicate more!
- Read out to your baby-
Read out age appropriate books to your baby in clear, distinct voice. He will be able to identify familiar words, and once he does that, he will also start following whatever you are reading. Keep the background noise minimum so that he concentrates on what you are saying.
- Allow socialization-
Take your baby along with you to grocery stores, parks and playgrounds. Let him observe other people and bond with little children. However, some toddlers become very possessive about their mummies and daddies and might react when they pay attention to other children. This is good for now; your baby is developing feelings of belonging with you and understanding the concepts of a family.
- Regulate daily routine-
Maintaining consistency helps a child’s memory boost which in turn is an integral part of toddlers’ cognitive development. Fixing approximated routines for sleeping, playing and meal times helps in developing his/her memory. The little genius will learn exactly when to get up when to brush when to eat. He/she will ask you for food when it’s lunch time, will know that late evenings are not for playing and will start forming his/her daily routine accordingly.
- Connecting objects and names-
Your toddler will start identifying people and things by name. Show him the different objects in his room and mentioning their names. By reiterating this process, he will soon be familiar with all the names, though he cannot pronounce them with clarity but will point to them when asked.
Another great way is reading picture dictionaries and painting together. Go out for walks and collect several like of “big leaf” and “small leaf,” red and yellow flowers. Now, help your tiny tot segregate them into categories like shapes, sizes, colors and smells.
- Building games and puzzles-
This is the perfect time to introduce new constructive games like building blocks or Lego.
Or you can make him a toy box with a variety of games. Let him choose what he wants to play and play along. Puzzles, Lego games, building blocks, number games are excellent ways to stimulate the cognitive development of your child.
He now understands “object permanence” i.e.; he knows things exist even when not around him. A good thing to do is play treasure hunt with him. You will often see your kid combining and putting together different objects to form articles of his choice. Allow that kind of creative freedom for it is very vital to facilitate the growth of rationale.
24 months onwards
- Manners and etiquettes-
Good manners and conduct are great ways to ensure a positive cognitive development in children. The best way to teach your child etiquettes and manners is by giving him/her social exposure. It is time that you seat your growing toddler at your dining table. It is important for them to see, observe and learn. Start teaching words like “thank you”, “excuse me” and “sorry”. Once good manners and habits get into his/her nature, the kid will grow an impressive personality.
- Play-way activities-
This is the time your child is ready for pre-school. Therefore teaching via play-way methods is what you should implement. Teach alphabets and rhyming words through games. Have role play sessions and let your kid be a teacher sometimes. How he/she conducts is what’s the kid is learning.
- Boost creative skills-
This is the ideal age for engaging the child in extra-curricular activities like singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and crafts. Have singing sessions together, sometimes dance sessions. If possible buy him/her a small synthesizer. Allow the child to explore and express through paintings, songs, and dance. These are great ways to accentuate the cognitive development!
- Give your child choices-
At the age of 2 or 3 years, toddlers start thinking themselves as grown-ups! Therefore at times, you need to treat them like that sometimes.
Give the little one his or her own choices. Like, “which dress do you want to wear?” or “what color pencils do you want to use?” Taking a decision, no matter how small it be, enhances a child’s rationalizing capacity. On seeing the choice, the toddler will try to process the options in his/her mind and try to figure out preferences, how advantageous that might be, etc. Building such rationalizing capacities form an integral part of cognitive development.
It’s a treat your toddler slowly making way through different stages of growing up. Cherish each moment, and most importantly remember to be an active part of your child’s growing years to stay in their memory!