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So who doesn’t want to have intelligent kids? In this competitive day and age, even children as young as three are forced to prove their mettle as they compete for seats in good schools. The pity is that only 30-40% of the children who apply get chosen. Parents too, are under immense stress to make sure that their wards perform. But like everything else in life, success doesn’t happen overnight and needs consistent effort.
Young children grow at a rapid pace. It is a fact that 90% of brain development happens before the age of 6. Don’t let these precious years pass you by without timely intervention. Make the right start for right growth. Here are some tips to encourage cognitive development in your toddlers.
1) Get the basics right
Introduce your child to numbers, alphabets, shapes and colours through their everyday actions. This is more to make them aware of their surroundings rather than to boost their knowledge. You could make a start by helping them recognise the alphabets of their name or count the number of apples in your shopping basket. Action songs and rhymes also help cognitive development. The repetitive actions and tunes not only enhance motor skills but also boost memory power.
2) Young explorers
If you want your child to be a success, don’t limit her learning to the walls around her. Camp outdoors with the kids, go on a fishing trip or set out on a nature hike. Point out anything new that you see with enthusiasm. Encourage them to explore the things that fascinate them. Chances are that they’ll return from their trip wanting to learn more about all the things they witnessed.
3) Let them wear their thinking caps
It is a good idea to give children choices and let them make their own decisions. Even if it is something as simple as letting them pick the clothes they want to wear or choose the food they want to eat. Questions encourage children to think and react and responding gives them a sense of independence.
4) No Child’s play this
There are many games that can stimulate your child’s mind. Open ended play tools such as blocks and Play Doh help develop a child’s creativity and problem solving skills. Jigsaw Puzzles apart from being a lot of fun get them to think strategically, make decisions and develop motor skills.
5) Little bookworms
Read to your kids at a young age, even as early as six months. As toddlers, they will bring books for you to read to them. Fill your home with books and reading material, and set an example by reading in your free time. Books, no matter what their content, are full of information and help to fuel your child's imagination. Reading is a skill that forms a crux to learning, and an avid reader is bound to show more interest in studies.
6) Don’t forget the right brain
The right brain plays a key role in developing imaginative and creative skills. Activities like music, dance and sports helps to stimulate the right brain, and increase IQ and concentration. Encourage your child to pursue the hobbies that he shows interest in.
7) Eat right
No matter how much you might focus on the external influences to develop your child’s intelligence, you cannot overlook their nutrition. As long as they are infants, breast milk compensates for any dips in their nutritive levels. However, as toddlers, with fussy eating taking over, under nutrition and deficiencies become a major concern for most parents. A trusted and recommended health drink like Junior Horlicks helps complete A-Z nutrition for the child. Once they turn 2, uptil the age of 4 key nutrients like DHA, Choline and Smart nutrients are known to help in brain development. The product is a unique combination of natural ingredients like wheat, barley and milk and contains high protein, no artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives. Look no further for tailor-made nutrition in the early toddler years. It is the perfect drink for a smart and active child.
Above all this, most importantly, give your children the attention they need and feed them a lot of love, hugs, cuddles and kisses. This is a critical stage in their lives where they need you every step of the way.