Cognitive skills are essential for all children to develop, and parents and teachers can improve these cognitive skills in various ways. One cognitive skill often overlooked is thinking creatively, which is vitally important in today's society, where people need to come up with new ideas regularly. This blog post will explore the importance of cognitive skills in children and improve them through different activities at home or school!
Why are cognitive skills important?
According to research, cognitive skills can help children significantly in their cognitive development and academic achievements (e.g., success at school) throughout life, as well as helping them to develop a sense of self-efficacy which is the belief that they can be successful through effort and perseverance. They also tend to have better social relationships with peers due to improved verbal abilities such as empathy, perspective-taking, and nonverbal communication (reading facial expressions, etc.) The cognitive skills that parents should encourage their child's development include:
- Creative thinking – being able to think up new strategies
- Critical thinking – being good at judging information by sifting through evidence before making a decision about it.
- Problem Solving – identifying and using techniques to resolve issues
For cognitive skills development, parents should also try the following:
1. Encourage learning through play.
Parents must encourage learning through activities such as board games that involve critical thinking. Make it a family activity by involving everyone in the family (i.e., siblings) or invite an older child from your neighbourhood for joint activities that will help them interact with other children their age. If there is no one they can socialise with at home, then attend preschools with peer interaction.
2. Conversation helps cognizance
Parents can also help cognitive skills development through conversations. During dinnertime, bring up topics about nature or history and ask questions that require critical thinking to answer. You may even consider enrolling your child in a course (e.g., summer school) where they will be able to learn new things while having fun at the same time!
3. Practise alphabet with kids
Another cognitive skill that parents can help in developing is the child's reading and writing skills. To start:
- Try playing board games with letters on them like Scrabble or Monopoly.
- Include words with many letters! If your child has mastered their alphabet (consonants), you may consider moving to short vowels next.
- When playing these games together, make it a habit of asking questions about how particular objects are spelt out.
4. Sing-alongs a
Try singing along while washing the dishes or working in the garden, or let them jump on their trampoline for a bit during nap time. Singing along has proven to develop cognitive skills in children.
5. Reading books
One of the most common cognitive skills is literacy or language development, which can be achieved by reading aloud to them yourself. Children love listening to stories when read aloud with all their favourite characters and colourful images. It also allows you an opportunity to talk about what's going on in the story before your child asks questions.
6. Let them draw
Letting your child draw freely will also help tremendously when it comes to cognitive skills development. Drawing picture after picture of familiar objects helps stimulate senses and imagination; try using crayons instead of paints if you want them to focus on details (trying drawing only faces). Make sure not to critique their drawings too often because this can hinder creativity; ask questions about what specific pictures are supposed to represent every once in a while.
7. Take your child to exciting places
Visiting exciting places such as museums, zoos, parks, and gardens can significantly impact cognitive development. Not only will it promote imagination through the use of drawing or storytelling but also by allowing them to play games such as "let's pretend this is our house" in different surroundings than their own home (children usually love playing people pleaser so having an audience might be enough motivation for them).
8. Building blocks are fundamental!
Learning how to build with building blocks helps cognitive skills too. It teaches your child how things fit together, which means that they know about cause and effect; try letting them create houses first before you introduce vehicles into the game because they might find out just how fun it is to knock everything after all.
9. Creating family stories is also a tremendous cognitive learning exercise.
Please encourage your child to create stories about what they do with his friends, family members, or even pets! Once they get the hang of it, you can ask them questions that will help improve their cognitive skills, such as "What did grandma wear when she went out?" and see how good his memory is by making him describe her clothing choices in detail.
Knowing the cognitive skills that your child needs for their age is essential for choosing appropriate cognitive learning exercises. Don't forget that these cognitive skills are not only limited to what you teach them at home but also in how they learn most effectively during school!