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What's Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life
- By Lise Eliot, Ph.D

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Boosting Child Brain Functions with Different Techniques and Methods - Part II

By Andrew Loh



As explained in the previous article, child brain development is largely dependent on early intervention from parents and other members of the family. Here are some more techniques and methods that can help parents to boost brain development in young toddlers.

Teach sequential and repetition techniques

A brain that learns sequential and repetition techniques is known to perform better in the areas that require analysis, imagination and interpretation. For example, sequential boosting in young brains is possible by holding and squeezing different parts of hands and fingers. Parents would surprised to see that their young toddler will start repeating this simple gesture by holding and touching different areas of its parent's hands and fingers. Another simple technique is to teach babies to follow your moving gaze from one area to the other.

Pretend play for young children

Young and pre-school children already possess the power of imagination and creativity. However, they should be allowed to pretend play to create more brain connections and better synapses. This should be done before the age of five as brain stops growing after this age. They should be allowed to create their own super heroes, heroines and sundry imaginary characters. Children, who pretend play, are known to learn how to experiment while donning the role of imaginary characters. A “make-believe” setting will also allow children to experiment with different life situations and scenarios. Apart from learning the art of imagination and anticipation, children will also develop necessary language skills and cognition.

Reading together is a fun time for children

Brain power could be boosted by reading together at bed time. Early literacy is ensured when parents read to their children at an early age. This also helps children develop better language skills, vocabulary and communication abilities. It also helps audition and speech abilities.

Developing social skills

Social skills are as important and critical as any other cognitive skills. While mental skills are needed to perform well in studies, social skills are important tools to sustain and manage life that is full of unforeseen difficulties and problems. Social skills involve mingling with people that include friends, classmates and other people in society. A child is able to develop self-control, sharing feelings, communicating with others and negotiating to achieve the desired results. Social skills are also related to the development of emotional intelligence which is so much required to lead an emotionally stable life. When a child learns social skills, he or she will also manage communication abilities and language acquisition. Allowing children to mingle freely with other children is the first obvious choice to boost social skills.

Introducing language and music classes

A child that learns two or more classes will also stimulate different areas of brain that are responsible for storing, sequencing and creating spatial abilities. Allow children to learn one more language apart from the mother tongue. Most schools allow children to learn another language as part of the school curriculum. Music, dancing, drawing, painting and other art activities are known to boost child brain development. Recent research also suggests that children can easily acquire several other skills like imagination, perception, cognition, reasoning, spatial intelligence, problem solving, self expression and language. Make sure to enroll your children to a music/dance school, a painting or art class.

The habit of reading

Reading is an all-season activity that kick starts early literacy, language acquisition, speaking skills and communication strategies. Reading also improves concentration, attention span and connecting with a fictional world that eventually lead to better imagination and perception skills. Bring home plenty of books that are age appropriate. Let the books be colorful and with interesting stories.

Learning how to differentiate between different colors

Learning to identify colors is known to enhance several mental skills like perception, the power of cognition, identification, sequencing and sorting. Display a color chart in front of your children and ask them to identify different colors. This exercise works out best for children within the age group of four and five years. This activity involves matching, identifying and eventually naming different colors.

Brain boosting food for better brain development

Just like any other activities, children need nutritious food to develop their brain which is an important organ. Daily diet for children should contain sufficient quantities of trace minerals, vitamins, carbohydrate, protein and fat. Never ever give junk, starchy, oily and sugary food as they may impede normal brain development. Food containing fish, cereals, and oils with low fatty acid content, coarse grains, shrimps, fruits, vegetables, raw and green leaves, berries and nuts are very convenient for children. These food ingredients are known to induce better brain development, streamlining of cell connection, development of grey matter and better blood flow system to the entire brain.

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Your Child's Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning from Birth to Adolescence
By Jane Healy, Ph.D

Hailed by parents and educators, Your Child's Growing Mind is a window into the fascinating process of brain development and learning. It looks at the roots of emotion, intelligence, and creativity, translating the most current scientific research into practical suggestions for parents and teachers.

Dr. Healy also addresses academic learning, offering countless suggestions for how parents can help without pushing. She explains the building blocks of reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics and shows how to help youngsters of all ages develop motivation, attention, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

 

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