Did you know, brain development affects all aspects of a child’s growth?
Children’s brains grow very quickly from birth to three years of age.
There are four main areas of development: cognitive, language and communication, motor (physical), and social and emotional.
Brain development is part and parcel of cognitive development. Cognitive development is how a child’s intellect grows, and includes learning, thinking, and problem-solving skills. These skills affect all other areas of development. The first three years of a child’s life are important for learning and development. Many parents have questions on how they can help their child’s brain develop.
Here are 7 ways to encourage brain development:
Play is one of the best ways to help a baby or toddler’s brain develop. Play might mean playing a game, or simply talking or singing to actively engage your child’s brain. Some examples are "Peek-a-boo" and holding toys out to look at. Speak to your baby about what you are doing.
For toddlers, sing songs with actions, like “Row, row, row, your boat”, encourage pretend play, experiment with colors, and build with blocks and toys. These foster creativity and imagination. Here are some fun ways for supporting learning at home.
Babies can feel stress. Hold and cuddle your baby. Let him/her know you are there to help and comfort them when they feel stress. Studies show that loving, responsive, and supportive care helps babies handle stress better than if care is inconsistent.
Reading is a wonderful way to promote a child’s brain development. Even before he/she can recognize letters or words, reading kickstarts communication and language skills.
By hearing words and seeing pictures, a child is able to connect the two. Repeating the reading of the same books further builds recognition of the association between the words you speak and the images on the page.
As a child grows, ask him/her questions like “Where is the cat?” and ask him/her to point to specific pictures on the page.
4. Build a good relationship with your child
Relationships are of extreme importance. Consistent, loving, and positive relationships help build healthy brains and protect your baby’s brain from the bad effects of stress. Everyday experiences help mould your baby’s brain—from your daily activities to the people your baby meets.
Note that babies have to play and live in healthy spaces with opportunities to grow and learn. And they need you to learn how to recognise when they are stressed or hungry, or tired or that they want a hug or cuddle from you.
Responding warmly and predictably to your baby and creating routines help babies feel safe. It shows them that that they can rely on you when they are upset, sick or distressed, and that you can meet their needs. Babies need their parents and caregivers to respond to them in caring, consistent and loving ways.
5. Ignite the senses
Get scraps of fabrics that have different textures and let your baby explore them while you lookout. The scraps should be at least six inches by six inches long. Describe the fabrics to your child, as they are learning through their senses.
Exposing them to rich descriptive language now helps them develop a strong vocabulary later on, too.
6. Go big — or little
Toddlers around 2 and 3 years old will love differentiating all sorts of items around the house into piles of “big” and “little” items.
The game teaches children the concepts and words of little and big, helps them think about size, and even supports early math skills, like the early stages of understanding measurement.
7. Listen in
Babies develop millions of neural connections and paths each day that are used throughout their lives to receive information, and music helps stimulate them.
The pathways help a child with cognitive, language, emotional, and social development.
Let your baby listen to various types of music that vary in meter and tone.
There are many ways you can help, encourage and support your child’s brain development as he/she grows.
Genesis Childcare 1989
Our Tampines childcare is one of Singapore's leading childcare services. Here at preschool Tampines, we believe in the growth and potential of every child and aim to develop your child to their best.
Genesis Childcare (Tampines)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 Singapore 520433
Tel: +65 9666 4141
Nurture Infant House (Tampines)
(2 to 18 months Infants)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 Singapore 520433
Tel: +65 9666 4141