5 Best activities to boost your child’s mental development

Your growing child needs mental stimulation for proper brain growth. We list 5 things to do.

A child’s growing fascination with the world stems from the fact that their brain and subconsciousness are growing with each passing day. A child’s brain development is at its peak from the ages of 2 years to 7 years. During this time, they discover the world in many different ways, make social connections, speak and communicate with others around them, make friends with others their age, develop a sense of memory, and so on.

Here are 5 things you can do to help the development of your child’s mental and cognitive abilities:

#1 Read to them.

Language development begins after age 1, when your child can correlate words with actions, people, situations and emotions. They may start speaking short, simple sentences. After this stage, they are able to expand their vocabulary much more when they listen to conversations and are asked questions. A major part of cognitive development during this time stems from exposure to language. You can read to them at bedtime, or give them picture books with small words strewn across the page to help them process words, see the shapes of alphabets, and so on.

#2 Let them explore painting.

Colours and shapes can help your child’s brain development like nothing else can. Your child interprets colours and art in his own way. Give them a set of colours and paper, and let them draw and paint to their heart’s content. It keeps them engrossed, helps mental acuity and improves concentration.

#3 Take them to places where they see new things and people.

Exploration and new experiences will help your child’s brain development to a marked degree. Your child’s brain is already stimulated by experiences at home and in the neighbourhood. This is a good time to lay the groundwork for emotions like empathy, wonder and surprise. Take them to the zoo, or an orphanage, or a children’s activity or hobby centre where they can participate in age-appropriate activities.

#4 Encourage hobbies.

Your child may have a particular interest. They may love to paint, or scribble, or even sing and dance. Pay attention to what they are most interested in, and encourage it. It’s never too soon to develop a hobby, and having a hobby is most important for brain development. Hobbies help cognitive functioning and reduce stress levels.

#5 Take them out for fitness activities and play.

Your child’s brain development is also helped along by physical fitness. Regular play has the effect of improving coordination, teaching rules, understanding how teams work, and so on. Also, participating in fitness activities like jumping rope, running and swimming improves concentration, inculcates discipline, and increases agility. In turn, the child’s stress levels are low, their mood is improved and they are more relaxed.