8 Everyday Activities That Fuel Your Child's Brain Development
Did you know your child is making massive strides just by playing in dirt, building forts with blankets, and scribbling on paper?70% of a human’s brain development happens during the first three years of life through play. Here are eight ways your child is developing right before your eyes.
1. Looking in the mirror
With every gaze at her oh-so adorable reflection, your baby is making social and emotional connections that will eventually lead to a major self-discovery: “Hey, that’s me!”. Help your baby learn by describing what she might see in the mirror. Encourage her to smile and coo at the baby in the mirror.
2. Making a mess at mealtime
Yes, your toddler will touch, pat and squish his food. That’s because he is making brain connections by exploring his world through touch, taste and smell. Help strengthen important neural pathways in the brain by providing different textures for your child to explore, such as rough, smooth or sticky.
3. Climbing on everything
When you find your 2 year old on top of the coffee table he is not intentionally trying to scare you. He is exploring his world while working on the important physical skills of balance and coordination. Encourage safe climbing with lots of outdoor and playground time.
4. Blowing bubbles
You can never have enough bubble solution in your home … and for good reason. Your child’s bubble play is building the foundations for science, creative arts, and even mathematical thinking. Try adding food coloring and glitter to the bubble mixture for even more magical play.
5. Finger painting
Finger painting is both a fascinating art and a sensory experience. Watch your child’s face light up when he realizes that when he mixes yellow and blue together it creates an entirely new color! Give your child a boosted sensory experience by adding textured material like sand or rice to the paint.
6. Playing in dirt
The natural world is its own unique learning environment. Something as simple as digging in dirt can help support a child’s curiosity. So give your young scientist plenty of opportunities to dig and dump. Add a magnifying glass so your child can look at dirt, rocks and small creatures up close.
7. Building forts
Blankets and pillows are irresistible indoor fort-building materials. But before you halt construction, consider this: building and crawling through indoor forts is a great way for children to get exercise and can help develop skills such as spatial awareness, planning and problem-solving skills.
Did you know that scribbling on paper is part of the natural progression toward writing? Experimenting with writing and drawing tools helps build the small-muscle skills and hand-eye coordination needed for writing. Providing baskets of paper and chubby crayons and pencils will give your child plenty of pre-writing opportunities.