As much as physical development plays an essential role in human life, cognitive development is also a must. Let’s find out the best activities for toddlers’ cognitive development!
Are you familiar with the term cognitive development? Cognitive development is a broad spectrum, yet in simple terms, it means the ability to think and understand. The cognitive development of humans commences from a very young age, and it is vital to take necessary actions to enhance it since early childhood.
This article will be beneficial for parents with toddlers. As a parent of a toddler, you have a significant share of responsibility to do that allows your child’s cognitive development. To get a better understanding of this matter, keep reading.
So, what are the best activities for toddlers’ cognitive development? Cognitive abilities are crucial for humans to deal with various life scenarios. As said, cognitive skills should be improved since early childhood, but how can you help your toddler to uplift their cognitive skills? Even though this sounds complicated, there are several easy and productive activities that you can introduce to your toddler to develop their cognitive skills. Hiding and finding objects, simple puzzles, sorting games, building blocks making, sing-alongs, and craft making are some of such activities.
The importance of cognitive development is immense. Toddlers should be exposed to different activities that enhance their cognitive skills because the sooner they develop such skills, the better they will be. You cannot rush a toddler to develop his/her cognitive skills.
However, plenty of productive ways exist to polish your toddler’s cognitive abilities in a gradual manner. For your ease, the article is divided into three sections. Feel free to refer to the sub-sections for a practical understanding.
Table of Contents
What are cognitive skills for toddlers?
To understand the above concern, first, you should know what cognitive skills generally refer to. Cognitive development is the ability to think and reason in daily life. Humans receive massive amounts of information; how do they process all of it, understand it, and use it according to the relevant situation? It all happens thanks to cognitive abilities.
However, no one can uplift their cognitive skills overnight. Cognitive development is a process that progresses little by little with age. Scientifically speaking, humans have rapidly developing brains in early childhood; therefore, they learn things better when they are young.
Humans first start to exhibit signs of cognitive development by the age of four to eight months. Since cognitive development is a gradual process, these signs will strengthen as the child grows up. However, remember that, in order to make their cognitive abilities better, they need your help.
Toddlers typically belong to the age group of two to three years. By this age, they will demonstrate somewhat strong cognitive abilities. For example, toddlers identify the functional use of objects and engage in representative and symbolic play.
When your toddler demonstrates given skills, it is vital to give them a hand to uplift those skills because that is a must for their overall development and will benefit them in the long run.
Cognitive skills that infants should have includes logic and reasoning, memory, adaptability, analyzing skills, evaluating skills, and critical thinking.
What are the best activities for toddlers’ cognitive development?
If you provide the space for your toddler to develop their cognitive abilities, it will likely become easier for them to improve those skills as they grow up. This is why every adult must introduce activities to their toddlers which enhance cognitive skills and make them engage in those activities.
Another important fact to mention is when you select activities that develop cognitive skills in toddlers, make sure those activities are suitable for their age category and it sparks their interest.
Let’s look at some activities that efficiently promote toddlers’ cognitive development.
This might sound like a very basic activity; nonetheless, a perfect way to promote toddlers’ cognitive development. How does singing contribute to developing cognitive skills in small children? Music is not merely an entertainment source but also an aesthetic activity that benefits human life in many ways.
When it comes to sing-alongs, you can follow this activity with your toddler as it improves cognitive abilities such as concentration, self-discipline, empathy, self-esteem, and protection against age-related decline.
For this particular age category, nursery rhymes would be ideal to use in sing-alongs. Not only are nursery rhymes fun, but they also help toddlers understand rhyming and sequencing.
- Sorting games
If you have a toddler at home, sorting games are yet another great activity you can introduce to them to uplift their cognitive abilities. You can let toddlers play sorting games using different objects you have at home.
For example, you can take bottle caps or plastic utensils, color them in different colors, and ask them to categorize them based on color. Sorting activities enable toddlers to use their brains intricately to uplift their cognitive abilities, including critical thinking, logic, and reasoning.
- Puzzle games
Puzzle games can benefit several age categories with cognitive development. There are puzzles that are specifically designed for different age groups, so make sure to select one that fits toddlers.
You should not make puzzle games way too complex for toddlers. As said, when choosing activities for toddlers, they should be practical, fun, and enjoyable. 2D and 3D puzzles in large pieces suit this age group.
- Craft making
Another popular activity that allows cognitive development in toddlers is craft making. Craft making undoubtedly is one of the best ways to improve creativity and innovation in toddlers.
You can provide them different materials such as paper, crayons, glitter, large beads, and play dough to teach toddlers how to make stuff using them.
Eventually, let your toddler make their own crafts with the given materials, which will help them think outside the box and improve their cognitive abilities from a young age.
- Building blocks
Ever thought a simple game like building blocks can help toddlers improve their cognitive abilities? Well, it certainly can. This is another versatile activity for toddlers allowing them to develop a number of skills, including cognitive skills.
For toddlers, you can give relatively large-sized building blocks and teach them to fix them according to patterns which will make them better at many cognitive skills, especially critical thinking and analyzing.
- Scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunt is an activity that can benefit toddlers both in physical and mental development. This game lets toddlers explore the outdoors, be adventurous, and simultaneously polish their cognitive skills.
You can select a safe outdoor space for this activity, for instance, your backyard, then hide some objects and give clues to your toddler so they can find the hidden things. Small children find this activity exciting; it also helps them promote several cognitive skills.
How can I help my toddler with cognitive development?
If you are a toddler’s parent, you will encounter several concerns regarding helping your child develop their mandatory skills. As said, cognitive development is a vast concept to understand, yet any parent can take easy actions to help their toddlers to develop cognitive abilities.
As explained in the previous section, you must create the space for your toddler to engage in activities that serve cognitive development. When introducing such activities, there are certain things that you should pay attention to.
First, it should match your child’s age; in this case, select activities suitable for the toddler category. Maintaining the consistency of those activities is essential, meaning you can allocate time to play sessions a few times a week. During that time, you can engage in given activities. Besides consistency, variety is also a must.
Another way to allow your toddler to polish his/her cognitive skills is to let them be a part of a playgroup. Playgroup activities keep toddlers entertained, help them make friends, and enhance interpersonal skills while also being crucial for developing several cognitive abilities.
Furthermore, you can let your toddler explore certain things on their own; this does not mean you should never help them, but encourage them to figure out things independently. Encouraging toddlers to do things alone is essential as it is highly beneficial for cognitive development.
If you think smart, you can even turn everyday scenarios into learning lessons that will help your toddler’s cognitive development. To elaborate, in daily situations, ask questions from your toddler, let them think, evaluate things and provide answers, visit exciting places with your toddler, and allow them to experience new ventures; all of them can promote a toddler’s cognitive abilities.
Cognitive skills, in general, refer to the ability to comprehend. Various skills come under the term, and all those skills are crucial for every individual in different life scenarios. In this article, we focused on cognitive skills in toddlers.
Cognitive skills should be improved over time, yet the process should be started in early childhood. Toddlers have fast-developing brains; therefore, adults should take appropriate actions to help them develop their cognitive abilities.
Exposure to enhance cognitive skills since the toddler stage will benefit any individual. So if you are a toddler’s parent, make sure you introduce given activities for them and encourage them to polish their cognitive skills. Stay with us for more interesting posts like this!