I can’t even stress enough on the importance of cognitive development activities for your baby. This should be a priority for parents, an area that should be encouraged, for this will set your children up for life. And the fun part about this is that these skills can be developed by incorporating some activities that will improve different areas of the brain like memory, concentration, reasoning, and a lot more; basically the whole brain.In this article, I will share with you what kind of activities you can do with your children to develop cognitive skills at every stage.
Here are a few cognitive development activities for your baby, according to her age:
Newborn to 3 months
- Reading with your baby – By this time, your child is like a super-sponge, absorbing every detail in the world around him. Reading to your baby is like showing him a world he has never seen before—the colours and patterns—that are essential in forming thought and inspiring imagination. Reading also develops your baby’s familiarity with your voice.
- Playing with newborn toys – Aside from developing cognitive skills through sight, you can also do this with toys through motor skills. Additionally, newborn toys usually have noisemakers in them for your child’s aural skill development.You must remember that your child’s only interaction with the world begins with his senses, so make sure that you engage each one equally.
- Play with toy mirrors –One of the first skills that your child will learn is facial recognition. Let him play with a toy mirror so he can enjoy looking at his own image.
- Talk and sing to your baby –Your baby might not be able to learn how to speak yet but speech and language formation starts as early as day 1. Also, rhythmic patterns found in music can be readily recognized by infants and puts them in a good mood.
3 months to 6 months
- Continue everything you’re doing for newborn up to 3 months. – Your baby’s brain doesn’t stop developing, so don’t stop giving that tender loving care and attention your baby needs from you. If you think what you’re doing is getting old, add variety.
- Toys and chewables with textures – You might observe your child trying to touch, hold, and put anything (and everything) in their mouths during this time. That’s because they’re learning the world around them through the sense of touch and taste. Your baby’s teeth start to grow at this point too. That’s why it’s good to change their toys to ones with more texture and is safe enough to be chewed on.
6 months to 9 months
- Continue everything you’re doing during 3 months to 6 months. –Your child has come a long way! At this point, your child has probably learned how to chew and eat some solid foods. He might also make a lot of noises now. That’s good! It’s a sign of a happy kid, and a sign that you’re doing a nice job in helping your child develop his cognitive skills.
- Play more advanced games – Now, you can bring out the more fun toys! Toys that you can actually play with your child. Bring out the shape matchers, the blocks, and containers that can be filled with absolutely anything. These will help him learn about cause and effect, the building block of reasoning.
- Treasure Hunting/hide and seek – Much like the more advanced toys that you got for your child, playing treasure hunting/hide and seek engages not only the “reasoning” part of your child’s brain but also, all his five senses are being put to work.
9 months to 12 months
- Continue everything you’re doing during 6 months to 9 months – Congratulations! Your baby has turned one-year old! It’s been a fun 12 months. Your child trying to stand on his own will become a common sight. He can also begin mouthing a few words.
- Building puzzles –Completing puzzles helps your child develop logic. The simple matching of puzzle pieces teaches your child cause and effect.
- Teach your child movement – Find a toy with lots of moveable parts. This will teach your child directional concepts, an advance motor skill, as he figures out how to move.
- Scents and spices – By this time, your child has his share of different tasting foods. Help him learn more through scent and taste by letting your baby play with empty casings of spices.
- Alphabet and counting – Helping your child recognize the letters of the alphabet by singing the Alphabet song and counting even up to three fires up a many portions of the brain that includes speech, logic, and memory.