The early years of a child are extremely important for psychological and cognitive development of your child. Healthy cognitive and psychological understanding needs to be taken very seriously by parents and one of the most effective ways to encourage this kind of growth is to incorporate it into everyday lives of your children.
Here are some of the most effective activities that will help not just with cognitive and psychological understanding of your child, but also play an essential role in parent-child bonding.
1.From my heart to yours
This is an activity that encourages sharing of feelings & thought processes. To make it interesting for children, buy or bake large heart shaped cookies and sit together in a circle.
Start mildly and share a childhood experience with your children that affected you in some way. Once you share the experience, take a bite of your cookie.
Take turns in sharing an experience and biting your cookie. You can replace the cookie with any of their favorite treat. The sharing session can last for as long as the treat lasts, ideally 3-4 turns.Here are the rules of the circle:
- Make it sound like it’s a big deal
- Make sure you do not counter question your child over anything they share
- Provide unconditional positive regard.
This activity promotes sharing and understanding amongst family. It also gives the children a safe space for sharing their experiences.
2.Stroop effect games
- The Stroop Test is believed to measure a key cognitive inhibitory ability: response inhibition (MacLeod, 2007)
- Stroop effect games are an excellent aid for cognitive development. In these particular games, you write the name of a color from a different colored marker. The challenge is to say the name of the color instead of what is written.
You can turn it into a mini marathon which will turn into a lot of fun and laughter for all of you.
Be sure of ending it with a treat that you can all enjoy together.
3 .Assist them in building a fort
We have always loved building forts and have our own make believe houses. However, for this particular activity, its best that you let the children do it while you help them ot in an unobvious manner by arranging the supplies and perhaps even knocking on the door with a special delivery of their favourite food.
Let them enjoy and make a mess as they figure out how to keep the fort from collapsing and find solutions related to tiny house making. Watch them solve problems on their own.
Once they are done, let them rest and regain energy before asking them to join you for cleaning up the place. It gives them a sense of responsibility and the learn how to clean up after themselves
Once you are done, celebrate by making a big deal out of it. Talk about getting it framed along with the date. Always end with a delicious treat that you have together.
Mazes use the prefrontal cortex, visual occipital lobe, hippocampus, and motor regions of the brain (Venkatesan & Lokesh, 2020).
Plan fun mazes with your children as a fun activity for the day. You can build it in your garden and accomplish it together as a family.
This will help all of you to work together as a team and have a sense of accomplishment while helping out your children with their cognitive development.