Like many parents, you’re aware of your preschooler’s need for proper nutrition, exercise in play time and regular visits to the pediatrician. As young minds develop, many parents want to make be sure to encourage cognitive development is as on track as their physical growth. Promoting intellectual and cognitive development is easy to work into preschoolers’ playtime with these fun activities:
Symbols: Between the ages of three and five, children’s minds start developing the ability to handle symbolism. In many ways, it starts with games of pretend, where imaginations use brooms to represent horses and teacups are filled with make-believe tea. Extend the use of symbolism by introducing maps to represent real places.
Story time: The Poudre River Valley Library District provides a variety of events, from story times at its branches to large collections of preschool-appropriate books. While picture books are a great way to promote literacy and brain development, take a break from the books: Listening to stories promotes activity and development in a different part of the brain.
Offer Decisions: Preschool children learn independence and confidence when presented with the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. Small choices, such as what to wear or what to eat at a restaurant, offer children an opportunity to develop decision-making skills.
Baking: Children love treats, and baking cookies at home offers a chance to learn several skills, from polishing motor skills necessary to measure ingredients, to basic reading skills when you work from a recipe. Just as importantly, it gives children a chance to work from a plan – your recipe – and follow through on instructions, key elements of lifelong success.
Get Active: We’re lucky enough to live in an area that offers plenty of recreational and educational opportunities to preschoolers. Classes don’t merely offer your child a chance for new experiences: They let him socialize with other children and help him learn about structured time and activities.
The Youth Clinic’s staff is always available to discuss social and cognitive development issues with our patients.