Babies begin learning through their senses and every experience as soon as they are born, and parents play the most important role in this process. Your child’s development depends on both the traits they were born with and how they are nurtured. For instance, when your baby cries and you respond to their needs, you are letting them know that they are loved and are promoting a strong bond and healthy brain development.
The first five years of a child’s life are the years when the brain develops the most. The experiences a child has during this time will shape the architecture of their brain and build the connections that allow them to develop lifelong skills such as problem-solving, communication, and self-control, which feeds into all future learnings and life-successes.
Your job as their teacher is to help them adjust to their new world by making them feel safe and secure and providing them with loving opportunities for play and learning. They will model their actions based on you.
The Best Way to Support Your Infant and Toddler’s Cognitive Development Is:
- Provide responsive, loving care.
- Infuse language into your child’s life through reading books, singing songs, and talking to your child every day.
- Play with your child.
Ideas for Encouraging Cognitive Development:
- Play with rattles, bells, and other toys that make noise.
- Read books, sing songs, and talk, talk, talk.
- Place your baby on their stomach and put toys around them to help them move their hands and body.
- Provide toys that your baby can hold and stack.
- Play peek-a-boo using your hand or baby’s blanket.
- Teach cause and effect by helping them stack blocks then knocking them down.
- Play musical games or finger plays like Hokey Pokey or The Wheels on the Bus.
- Make a game out of simple directions: Pick up your ball and put it in the basket.
- Begin naming shapes and colors, and ask your child to identify them by pointing.
- Go on a toy scavenger hunt! Hide your toddler’s toy and have them find it.
- Play with everyday household items: pots, lids, spoons, measuring cups, brooms, etc.
- Provide your toddler with options for toys or play and let them take the lead.
Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions your family will make. You can begin your search by calling CCRI’s Child Care Search at 704.348.2181 or visiting www.findchildcarenc.com to let trusted experts help you.