Three weeks after conception, an embryo’s brain cells are already at work, sending messages to and retrieving them from the five senses: touch, hearing, taste, smell, and sight. Providing newborns with meaningful experiences and a stimulating environment can form strong neural connections.
1. Spice Up Your Child’s Immediate Environment Early childhood experiences contribute significantly to the brain’s structure and ability to absorb and process information. In general, humans learn the fastest from birth to 3 years of age. A child’s brain is far more impressionable than an adult’s. Therefore, “young” brains are more open to learning and enriching influences.
Provide kids with a nurturing or stimulating environment. Hang a mobile over your baby’s crib or fill your toddler’s room with toys and other things he or she can play with. Bring your child on walks in the park, or even on a short car ride in the neighborhood. Without cerebral stimulation, your child becomes more vulnerable to developmental delays.
2. Touchy Feely Infants’ brain development is greatly stimulated by faces, voices, physical contact, and even smell. So parents who readily shower their babies with unconditional love by embracing, comforting, or kissing them are also providing the best kind of stimulation for their babies’ developing brains. These shows of affection build a child’s trust in his caregivers and environment. This trust enables a child to explore his environment confidently, and each new discovery leads to learning.
3. Tête-à-tête with the Tots Language is fundamental to cognitive development. As simple as they may be, talking and listening to your kids are still some of the best ways to boost “brain power.” After reading a book or watching a movie together, discuss the story. Ask your kids what they liked and disliked about the characters or the plot. Infants and children who are exposed to rich language experiences like reading and meaningful conversations have relatively more advanced language skills.
4. Motivate with Music Learning a new concept while listening to music engages both sides of the brain. The concept being introduced activates the left side of the brain, while music triggers right-brain activity. Stimulating both sides of the brain at the same time helps retain information in your baby’s long-term memory. Songs and rhymes also boost endorphins, which boost attention and memory.