As a parent, one of our biggest concerns is whether our children’s brains are functioning at the proper level. Singing the ABC’s and teaching them colors is a great way to get started, but how do you ensure that your child will have a love for learning? Instead of buying a ridiculous amount of expensive baby ‘learning’ products, here are a few simple suggestions that can help launch your child’s brain function.
1. Converse with your baby- Aside from the usually ‘goo-goo gah-gah’ baby talk that we can’t help but spill out, you should actually have a conversation with your little one. Our children learn their ability to talk through us. Make sure to speak clearly to your junior, sounding out proper syllables. This will help the areas of their brains to recognize speech and words better as they get older.
2. Song Time- Singing simple songs such as “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and showing your baby the motions will help them to integrate sound and motion into their brain functions. Doing physical movements to these simple songs will not only help assist their motor skills, but will enhance their use and understanding of rhymes, rhythms, and language patterns.
3. Sensory Toys- At this point, your child’s world revolves around what they can see and what they can feel. A sensory mat is a fantastic way for your baby to learn more about touch and all of the different textures. A good sensory play mat will for example, have the shapes of different animals. All the animals are different colors and textures to help keep your little one intrigued for hours.
4. Messy Play Time- While books and little toys are always fun, another great way to help boost your child’s function is to involve some out of the ordinary play things. Sand or paint is a great way to widen your baby’s tactile understanding. Even playing with toys in the water will help to teach your child about water resistance and what it feels like for something to be ‘slippery.’
5. Appropriate Toys- Finding the right toys for your child’s developmental range isn’t too tricky. While most parents would like for their child to be in the ‘above average range’, it’s better not to overwhelm your baby with something that might be a bit out of their level. They need to have a rather firm grasp on their own educational level before you can jump them up to another. This helps their brains expand properly and allows this information to be retained better.
There are vast amounts of baby education products out on the market today, some very expensive and some require years-worth of materials. So before you dive head first into the hype, or your pocketbook, why not keep it simple (and cheaper) by using a few of these simple techniques. While your child might not quite be accepted into Mensa, these are still great ways to help make sure your child’s brain is functioning and expanding.
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(price as of Sep 25, 2014)