During the first few years of her life, your toddler is developing neural connections between the billions of brain cells present in his/her brain, channeling his brainpower.
As a parent, the easiest way to facilitate this process is to provide your toddler with experiences that can enrich them with knowledge of the world, boost their confidence, build character, and above all teach them empathy.
Toddlers are like little sponges – they take in everything from their surroundings and exhibit their learnings in the way they talk, play and interact with others. And boy are they energetic! Their energy coupled with boundless curiosity helps toddlers explore the world around them and often, can get them trouble as well!
The challenge parents of toddlers often face is ways in which to channel their energy and curiosity into meaningful experiences. It’s always a good idea to incorporate the use of all your toddler’s senses during playtime. Experiences that they gain while stimulating the five senses can boost their brainpower and create more pathways for neural connections.
Here’s a list of some fun activities which can help your toddler boost their brainpower and at the same time provide a great opportunity for you to bond as a family!
What’s that smell – Boosts brainpower literally!
Studies show that smell has the most profound impact on our brain, followed by sound and visuals. Nice and soothing smells calm our brain, help to build focus, and generate infinite neural networks.
Make a trip to a herb garden, or maybe even the herb section of your grocery shop and get your toddler take in the different smells. There are many to choose from – coriander, mint, oregano, rosemary, and basil to name a few! You can even try to quiz them after the first few rounds of smelling the herbs and feelings.
Your toddler will be able to build a sense of identification, recognition, and associate a memory specific to a certain herb.
Story-time before bed – Builds Imagination and Brainpower
Books are the gateway unlocking your toddler’s imagination as well as a great way to teach them about how the world works. Change up the books you read every day- read to them about animals, plants, superheroes, villages, cities, rivers, and mountains.
Reading on the same day can help them establish a routine and make them look forward to reading every day. Along with improving your toddler’s vocabulary, reading to them at a young age helps them to love books as they grow older. Plus reading before bed relaxes the brain, reduces stress and allows your child to sleep more soundly!
Singing and Dancing – Encourage Creativity and Speech
Singing and dancing is a great way to get your toddler moving and also to learn about rhythms and patterns. Encourage your toddler to sing out loud and dance to some popular tunes including nursery rhymes.
It’s also a great idea to expose them to different types of music and teach them about sounds from different musical instruments. If you can, let them rock out on a drum, run their fingers through guitar strings or a piano.
Remember, parents, are the best audience! Your toddler is always looking to impress you- singing and dancing at home with you can help build their confidence and performance skills. Dancing also helps toddlers understand how to control their body movements and gain balance.
Answer their questions – Encourage curiosity!
If you haven’t noticed yet, toddlers ask a lot of questions. In fact “why” is probably the most popular word in your house right now! Although it can get frustrating at times, it’s important to address all their questions with patience and enthusiasm.
Providing them with answers helps learn more about the world and boosts their memory. Try taking your toddler with you to the grocery store and teach them about the different things they see.
Quiz them about fruits and vegetables and let your child feel and touch them. On the way there, show them different vehicles and explain what they are used for. At home, make your toddler help you put away the grocery. Help them create memories and a routine which they can associate with different everyday tasks.
Have fun with colors and water
Playing with water can keep your toddler entertained for hours. You can take this super simple activity and help them boost their imagination by coming up with games to play with water.
Take them to water parks, the beach, the swimming pool, or you can even give them pop in your bathtub or give them a bucket of water. Use these moments to throw in some science lessons – see how the duckie floats? why does the soap sink to the floor? Water playtime is always a great opportunity to teach your child about water safety as well!
Whether you pick any of the above activities or enjoy an entirely new experience, your toddler will be boosting his brainpower along the way. You are your toddler’s first teachers and it’s definitely a difficult job but very rewarding as well!
The most important thing to remember is to make sure your child is having fun, learning and most of all going to bed at night, tired and satisfied.