8 fun ways to stimulate every part toddler’s brain
Toddlers’ brains develop quickly between the ages of one and three. It’s an incredibly formative age for every toddler. Their brains will develop at a staggeringly rapid pace, soaking up all of the information they can. While the brain develops naturally at this age, it’s crucial to encourage and stimulate your child’s brain during this period. Brain stimulation will help to keep your child’s mind malleable, active, and ready to learn.
If you’ve got a young toddler, here are a few ideas of fun ways to encourage their brain development. Watching your child learn and grow is one of the most rewarding parts of parenting – you will love watching them discover the world with these simple, fun activities.
It’s imperative that your child is exposed to all of the stimuli in the outside world. You will expose your child to a wide range of brand new sights, sounds, smells, and concepts. New sensory experiences are a hugely important part of a toddler’s brain development.
A visit to a brand new location with all of its new sensory stimuli will exercise two important parts of your child’s brain: the play system and the seeking system. The play system is engaged, unsurprisingly, when you engage in playful activities. The seeking system is engaged when you engage in exploratory activities.
A day trip is a perfect opportunity to stimulate these two systems. Try a trip to a big park for a picnic, for instance. Giving yourself a few hours to relax and play in the park will stimulate the “play system” while exploring the trees and ponds in the park will engage the seeking system.
Engaging these two systems of the brain will make your child ready for some of the challenges they face when they reach adulthood. It will help them to develop creativity and imagination, two traits that are great for a happy personal life and crucial in any career.
Including some puzzle-based games in your child’s toy chest is a great way to encourage their cognitive development. Puzzle games can be useful tools to teach your toddler some basic skills like hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, as well as more complex cognitive processes like problem-solving, memory, and goal setting.
Simple puzzles like blocks help your child learn about interacting with shapes and objects. They learn about picking up and putting down, meaning they develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Finessing these skills will help your child in future day-to-day activities such as writing, organizing their room, and getting dressed.
Puzzles also help your child to develop critical thinking skills. When they are presented with the problem, they will need to make judgments about how to solve the puzzle. As they make mistakes, they will develop memory skills and will learn what not to do.
These critical thinking skills are incredibly important to develop from an early age. Late in life, these skills will be used to make decisions about more serious problems they encounter in their personal life and career. Plus, by encouraging your child to focus on completing a puzzle, your child will learn the importance of setting goals and seeing them through.
Gentle toddler-friendly exercise
While mental activities are a major part of brain development, physical activity is also hugely beneficial. Physical activity boosts brainpower in people of all ages, so by including exercise in your child’s routine from a young age, their brains will get the boost they need to keep learning and developing quickly.
Activity stimulates the part of the brain that deals with motor skills and visual processing. Think of exercise as a way to kick-start your child’s propensity to learn.
Physical activity is also great for physical development. By making it part of a routine from a young age, your child is more likely to continue exercising when they get older. Exercise in adults is great for mental health, illness prevention, and brain functionality.
Soft toys and dolls
While puzzle-based games are great for developing critical thinking skills in your toddler, soft, cuddly toys will also play a significant role in their brain development. Plush toys are a wonderful way to stimulate the social, emotional, and imaginative parts of the brain.
Soft, cute toys and dolls offer a feeling of warmth and safety. As your child gets old enough to understand the concept of imagination, they will begin to use their teddy bears, dolls, and stuffed animals to project their own feelings. When your toddler comforts their soft toys, they are learning emotional skills such as empathy, friendship, and attachment.
The soft, unique textures on these toys will also stimulate your toddler’s senses and will help their brains develop a strong sense of touch. Touch is a sense that is often overlooked, but it’s a crucial sense for young children. Studies show a refined sense of touch plays a key role in physical and communication skills.
The best soft toys for toddlers are both cuddly and cute. You’ll want to find a toy with plenty of nice textures that will also inspire a sense of attachment and affection in your toddler. If you think the classic teddy bear is a bit too boring for your taste, try the absolutely adorable Baby Yoda plush toy. Here’s a review of the cutest toy on the market this year: https://bitsybugboutique.com/blogs/reviews/baby-yoda-plush-toy-review
Reading books to your child will help them to develop linguistic skills; plus, it’s a great opportunity to bond with your toddler. As your toddler gets old enough to understand all of the words in their favorite stories, they will begin to follow the stories in the books. Stories help toddlers develop an understanding of relationships, empathy, along with their powers of imagination.
Repeated readings of the same picture book will slowly help your child to understand the individual words in the story. Keep your child involved while you read to them. Point out the pictures to help them connect the word to the image.
Studies show that picture books can have a massive impact on a toddler’s linguistic skills because, more often than not, your toddler will be exposed to a series of new words that you don’t tend to use in your daily conversations with them. Unusual words will encourage a broader vocabulary early on and, later in life, will help them to communicate effectively.
Have a chat
You’ve probably already heard about the importance of talking to your child. Communicating with your child from a young age is crucial. It’s how they’ll learn to speak and communicate. The better your child’s communication skills, the easier it will be for them to express themselves later in life.
Studies have shown that chatting with your child between the ages of 18 and 24 months can improve your child’s linguistic and cognitive skills while they are school-age. Conversing with your toddler, even if they only reply with gibberish, will stimulate their brain to begin making connections between words and meanings. The more you repeat certain words, the better their chances of learning the meaning of the word and how to use it.
It’s important to develop your child’s memory abilities from a young age. Memory helps us shape our sense of self and becomes a major factor in our decisions and reactions to events in our lives. Help your toddler understand how memory works by making a photo album of memories for them to look through.
Take pictures of you and your toddler. Try to include pictures that show places you’ve been and things you’ve done. By looking through this memory album with your child and talking about the pictures, it will help your toddler to connect the past and the present. Understanding the concept of memory will help them process events in the future and store them in their minds as memories. A memory album full of old pictures of your child will also give your child a stronger sense of self.
Studies have shown that having a strong imagination is a critical part of living a happy, successful life as an adult. The imagination can help us deal with problems in our lives by coming up with creative solutions. It can also help us to see the world around us with a deeper sense of empathy and awe. Try to help your child develop imagination skills from a young age with make-believe games.
While you can use dolls and other toys to create make-believe stories, you can also try dressing up with your toddler and acting out imagined stories yourselves. When your toddler takes on a “role” to act out, they use their memory to recall stories they’ve heard and mannerisms they’ve seen. Playing dress up games will exercise and stimulate their memory skills while helping them develop the capability of imagination.
Toddlers’ brains are constantly evolving and developing. A healthy, active brain will help your child learn to function in the world and grow up into a healthy, happy adult. Help your toddler’s brain by stimulating their senses and encouraging them to exercise their language, emotional, and cognitive skills.