One of the best things about life is knowing that we can continue to grow and evolve in our thoughts and behaviors in order to become a better person every day. Anyone who has worked with children knows the joy of seeing them discover and develop as they go through life.
It’s encouraging to teach them, play with them, and witness impressionable minds at work and striving for milestones. Child development is an amazing field of study and research, and we all want the children in our own lives to grow and develop accordingly.
It’s important to observe motor and verbal skills regularly, keep up with wellness exams, and take other preventive methods to nurture their development. And there are always new as well as, tried-and-true methods that will target your child’s development at any age or stage.
Here are 7 fun things you can do now to improve your child’s development.
1. Treasure Hunt
No matter your child’s age, treasure hunting is always an entertaining and educational way to target their problem-solving skills. Through clues (written or drawn) and sequential clues that build on each other, children can learn to use teamwork to discover a hidden treasure.
Everyone loves a good mystery, especially those with curious little minds. For older children, you can make the clues extra clever and challenging by using poems or picture riddles.
2. Jigsaw Puzzles
There is no stage in development where jigsaw puzzles can’t boost cognitive and fine motor function as well as organizational skills. Especially in younger children, it’s important to keep increasing the difficulty of puzzles and work with them as a team when they are leveling up
3. Singing and Dancing
Sometimes it takes a different way of saying something for it to sink in. One way to break away from the drone of day-to-day responsibilities and expectations is to add a little melody, rhythm, and rhyme to your activities.
You can try to role model fun ways to do chores by adding a song and dance to them. For instance, it teaches your child to look at the bright side while improving verbal skills and relieving tension.
Many people are intimidated by Sudoku because of the patience and diligence it takes to place the numbers in the appropriate squares. However, it’s not as challenging as it may appear, especially when digested in small bites.
A standard game of Sudoku uses a grid of 9 boxes, each with squares for numbers 1 through 9, all rows and columns consisting of 9 squares for the same numbers. The game involves narrowing down and eliminating possible numbers and targets problem-solving skills. At advanced levels, Sudoku requires excellent mental or written note-taking (study skills) and organizational ability. For younger children, you can start with boxes with fewer numbers.
5. Healthy Food Choices
One way to improve your child’s overall development, both physically and mentally, is to offer them healthy options for meals and snacks. Avoid sugar as much as possible, as it can cause hyperactivity, decrease focus, and end in a crash that leaves a child lethargic and grumpy.
Make sure your child’s diet is full of lean protein (fish, beans, and chicken breast), fiber (granola and whole fruit), and a combination of vitamins and minerals from various vegetables.
If you live in a heavily populated area, make it a priority to expose your child to nature or green space on a regular basis. Outdoor learning environments offer opportunities for them to observe the plant and animal life they don’t normally see, as well as a chance to take a break from screen entertainment.
7. The Senses
Igniting your child’s senses is a great way to spark a desire to learn. Choose to focus on one sense per day with your child. For instance, include a discussion of hearing in your morning routine and encourage your child to focus on this sense throughout the day. They can tell you all about the new things they heard when they get home.
As your child develops, you will learn more about how they best learn and can adapt activities to their learning style. For instance, tactile learners can benefit from a textural element while visual learners may find modeling most beneficial.
Phoenix Charter School and other Academies of Math and Science are committed to the development of children every step of the way. Every child deserves the most effective educational and developmental strategies available, and these are all great, holistic ways to begin.
For more great parenting tips, check out the other blogs on Cyber Parent.