Brain power improves by brain use, just as our body strength grows with exercise. A child’s brains undergo an amazing period of development from birth to three years as in the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second. The brain is the command center of the human body. A newborn baby has all of the brain cells (neurons) they’ll have for the rest of their life, but it’s the connections between these cells that really make the brain work. Brain connections enable us to move, think, communicate and do just about everything.
The early childhood years are crucial for making these connections. The brain development of child is influenced by many factors such as the kid’s environment, relationships, daily activities and of course eating habits (Know some foods helps in brain development of child). As soon as the baby is born, his/ her brain is ready to learn and they depend upon parents, family members and other caregivers to help them to develop the right skill to become independent and lead a healthy and successful life.
Many parents ask how they can help their child’s brain development. The best way is to actively engage your child through everyday activities like playing, reading and being there when he/she feels stress.
ACTIVITIES to encourage brain development of child:
Quality interaction is the key for cognitive development. Responding to your baby’s coos and cries, making eye contact and showing them funny faces is the type of interaction you can do in their early months and soon you will see them responding in their own sign language.
By the age of 5 to 7 months babies start to recognize objects or the knowledge that something still exists even when it’s not visible. Showing any object like their feeding bottle and then moving it out of their sight and asking your baby where is the bottle gone, helps them to think and use their brain which contributes to brain development of child.
Books play a vital role in brain development of child as well as motor skill development. You can introduce board books from 6 months and paper books from 1 year. Show different colors, shapes and objects through these books or just allow your baby to turn the pages by themselves and let them observe and memorize things.
Reading and storytelling with babies and children promotes brain development and imagination, develops language and emotions, and strengthens relationships. When children listen to a story, their imagination is on steroids! They’re picturing characters, they’re living the plot and they’re visualizing the setting; they’re sowing the first seeds of creativity. Encourage them to talk to you about the plot and characters, ask them how they think a character could behave, let them ask questions whenever they feel like they’re simply learning how to express themselves.
As soon as the baby starts sitting you can introduce the block games. There are lots of block games available in the market, you can choose according to your baby’s age. Block games help kids to express their imagination and helps them to understand different shapes and colors. Create simple patterns with blocks and ask your toddler try to copy the patterns. This is a simple way to help your child observe patterns.
Jigsaw Puzzle games:
Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to develop your child’s spatial perception, coordination, problem-solving, cognitive skills and fine motor skills. These puzzles are awesome for their brain development. But always choose which is age appropriate as if it’s too difficult, kids get impatient and give up. For one year olds you can choose a puzzle with a few pieces whereas for kids over 3 year, try a 16 to 20-piece jigsaw puzzle with large pieces. Older children can handle even more difficult puzzles.
Playing memory games can improve brain functions, such as attention, concentration, and focus. Simple matching activity for younger children, increase or decrease complexity by changing the number of elements. You can also show any picture for a limited time and ask your child to memorize things in the picture and then list the objects in the picture without seeing them. Finding the difference between two pictures is also a good memory game for a toddler. (How to increase concentration and focus in kids?)
Obstacle games (jumping, running and skipping):
Physical activities not only help in physical development but also aids in brain development. Obstacle games are easy to set up in your room or garden. You can create a simple obstacle for younger kids and a little creativity for older kids which may include something to walk on, crawl under, crawl through, jump, throw, hop, solve a riddle, the possibilities are endless.
Spending time in nature:
Another tip to improve concentration in kids is spending time in nature. Research suggests that natural environments could benefit brain development and may also improve concentration power in children. Even a 20-minute walk in the park could help improve concentration in kids more than a walk of the same length in an urban setting.
Games for 5 +kids:
If your child is above 5 years you can start with games like chess, sudoku, crossword and math games
NUTRIENTS FOR brain DEVELOPMENT OF child
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS: These healthy fats are crucial to brain and eye development, and can help stabilize mood. (What are some food sources of omega 3?)
COMPLEX CARBS: These nutrients not only fuel brain, but also protect brain cells against damage from free radicals released from pollution, stress (Some super tasty carbs for kids)
ANTIOXIDANTS: Studies have shown that antioxidants may help to counteract the unstable molecules that comprise free radicals (What are they and foods rich in antioxidants?), counteracting the negative effects of oxidative stress.
CHOLINE: Vitamin B4, also known as choline, is a nutrient that is essential for development of brain, memory and muscle function. It also helps the brain communicate with the rest of the body and can help regulate mood (What other foods help with mood?).
HERBS : Herbs like curcumin, brahmi. Ashwagandha and shalaki improves brain function. protects the brain nerve cells from damage. this would increase their focus and attention, while keeping them calm and distressed. (How can ayurvedic herbs help with brain development?)
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Let’s try to make every healthy food recipe for a child more tasty and nutritious with (hidden) veggies, herbs and nuts
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