How can you promote strong brain development in your child? Follow these 8 tips to help your child’s brain develop strong.
1. Respond to your child’s need for support and attention promptly and gently.
Children form attachments to caregivers who respond sympathetically to their needs. For example, choose books that your child likes. Involve the child by talking about the book and asking him/her questions. Do not force reading; make it a fun time!
2. Be careful not to over stimulate your child.
Forget all of those fancy, expensive toys. The best learning tools are right around your house in cupboards, newspapers, on street signs and in the backyard. Allow time for your child to relax and freely explore to reduce stress.
3. Provide a safe environment for your child to explore.
Remove unsafe obstacles, such as extension cords, breakables or unsteady furniture. Provide safe toys and check them often for breakage or malfunctions. Reduce your children’s stress by providing comfort when he/she is sick or injured and removing harmful people and events from your children’s life.
4. Embrace, snuggle and cuddle your child.
For example, give hugs every chance you get. Hold your child in your lap while you read or color. Spend time cuddling before bedtime at night.
5. Visit, play, sing, rhyme and giggle with your child.
Read aloud. Sing songs. Ask open-ended questions, such as “What are you doing?” Play music and make music. Play rhyming games.
6. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
Repetition builds your child’s connections in the brain, making tasks easier every time. Children love routines. Keep a regular routine as best as you can to reduce stress.
7. Challenge your child.
Gradually build on a small task such as catching a ball only a few feet away from you and move slowly to catching the ball several feet away. Each new step is a challenge that stimulates your child’s brain.
8. Build on your child’s senses.
Let children feel things such as the dog, a book or their food. Let them smell their food or crayons. Play music and listen to different noises around the house. Show your child many colors and shapes.
For more helpful tips on children’s brain development contact Parent Information Center on FACEBOOK!
Source: FS-611 Bright Beginnings No. 5 – Keys to Enhancing Brain Development in Young Children. (2005). 2011 North Dakota State University does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender expression/identity, marital status, national origin, public assistance status, sex, sexual orientation, status as a U.S. veteran, race or religion. Direct inquiries to the Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach, 205 Old Main, (701) 231-7708. County Commissions, NDSU and U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating. This publication will be made available in alternative formats for people with disabilities