Everyone would want their kids to be geniuses, right? But this doesn’t mean you can take out the quantum physics textbooks just a few months after they are born. As a parent, you do have an important role to play in the development of your baby’s brain.
Something as simple as engaging with them positively on a daily basis can help develop their problem solving skills, language and emotional IQ. But you can’t make this like school. You can’t try too hard. It has to be fun. Here are a few simple activities for you to try out:
1. Try narrating your entire day to your baby. This may make it easier for your baby to pair words with the things around. Speak slowly and simply using high-pitched speech. Don’t feel embarrassed talking to yourself. Babies start understanding most of what is being said months before they begin talking.
2. If you are going for a walk with your baby it is important that you help them take in everything that is around. If you hear a dog barking, try to make the baby associate the sound with the dog. If it starts to rain, let the baby feel the first few drops of rain on their face and then describe the rain to them. This can go a long way in developing physical sensations.
3. It is very important that you are polite to the people around you while being engaging as well. Children are always trying to understand how they should interpret situations. You need to help your baby understand the right way to behave around someone they like. Remember, they learn from each and every interaction of yours. So watch yourself.
4. In familiar surroundings, babies will be able to process new information much faster. Keep some things predictable while changing other things around. Try going for a walk at the same time every single day, but taking different routes each time.
5. Sign language is a great way for you to help associate a visual cue with all types of spoken word. The muscles for making simple signs develop much faster than the muscles needed for speaking. It will be much easier to communicate with your child if it’s a two way conversation instead of just one way.
6. Babies get a sense of numbers much faster than anything else. Try to incorporate counting into everything that you are doing. This works especially well with food. Use peas, Cheerios, etc. You could try getting them to categorize the foods by color as well after a while.
7. Giving your baby hands on experience is just as important as hands off experience. Show them how a toy works and then let them try to play with it on their own. If they struggle, resist the urge of going and helping them. They will eventually figure it out on their own. Let them learn that they can solve problems with a little effort.
8. Shape sorters may help your baby learn about problem solving and spatial reasoning but it does very little apart from that. You need to expand your definition of the word “educational.” Anything can be educational. Roll a ball under the couch and ask your baby to try retrieving it. They can learn just as much from this experience too.