Cognitive development in any human starts at a very early age. Cognitive main refers to the intellectual skills that help in processing information, understanding concepts, and the ability to express and reciprocate language, instincts, and feelings. Cognitive skills also enhance the perceptual ability of a child and help them in holistic development along with social, emotional, and physical development.
Generally, babies build their cognitive ability from birth. Hence parents and guardians need to take the necessary steps in the right direction to help strengthen cognitive skill. Many complex thinking processes and cognitive abilities strengthen at different ages of a child’s life. Some cognitive skills developed in early childhood include:
- Following instructions
- Responding to their name
- Naming and recognizing objects and places
- Counting numbers
- Verbalizing needs
- Knowing gender
- Knowing the difference between past and present
- Asking questions
Most of the skills mentioned above, along with many others, can be improved with the help of the right activities, as suggested by SpringSpot experts, through games and simple activities, which can help children develop holistic mental ability and aid in cognitive development in early ages.
A child exposed to reading environments will be able to develop a higher sense of vocabulary, and they will develop the ability to respond to words and understand emotions. In addition, they will also develop the following skills in their early stages:
- Language patterns
- Thinking skills
- Attention span
- Listening skills, and so on
Developing linguistic skills is one of the crucial aspects of cognitive development in a child. This is because they will learn to think, speak and reciprocate in the language. The best way to develop their language is to talk to them and encourage them to talk a few words in their early years. Parents and guardians are the main points of contact for increasing a child’s ability to talk. Hence, they ought to be grammatically correct and pleasing.
Once a child reaches a certain age, they develop the ability to think and answer. Hence, actively engaging them in thinking activities helps develop their mental ability and wire their brain to solve problems later in life. One of the best thinking activities for cognitive skill is through puzzles involving different colors, shapes, sizes, and more, stimulating their sense of vision.
Playing is an instinct of children, and they find joy in doing it! It is also a beneficial factor in developing cognitive skill, improving creative thinking and motor skills, and their ability to respond to emotions. Children, until six years, learn most of their cognitive abilities through playing. Therefore, indulging them in different simple games can boost their confidence and social skills.
One of the primary ways for kids to identify objects is through noises. Children are wired from their birth with the ability to hear and identify things and people. This is one of the reasons they can quickly identify a mother’s voice by age one. Parents need to use this to the best ability by educating them about bird noises, car horns, water, and many others, which can help them relate to sounds and items they can see.
The famous alphabet song is the best way to get started with the alphabet. Also, use alphabet puzzles to help them recognize and arrange alphabets in the right order. It will develop their ability to think, memorize and increase their attention span, and increase their cognitive skill.
Many parents might find visiting places with their children a waste of time, as they cannot recognize things at such a tender age. But little do they know that children are often exposed to developing their cognitive ability at such tender ages. For instance, by visiting a park, they are exposed to different colors, sounds, items for playing, and so on, which can be beneficial in the long run. Parents can also take them to museums, movies, and other places, which stimulates their curiosity.
You can help them practice counting by grabbing every opportunity in everyday items. For instance, practicing with the number of spoons in the kitchen, counting their shoes, the number of swings, slides, and other items in the park, and so on. It is one of the essential skills which is beneficial once they are ready for school.
Movement is one of the best ways to stimulate brain growth, which helps develop neural pathways, affecting their ability to read and write effectively. It not only helps them re-energize their brain, but also they will find joy in moving around and playing with people or things. Movement is also an important factor in increasing a child’s concentration.
Singing songs is the most underrated activity which helps develop a child’s memory and identification of wordplay. Encourage your child to sing songs with you or play their favorite cartoon tunes. This is also one of the major reasons why all rhymes, numbers, and alphabets are in the form of songs, which helps children grasp them easily.