Tips for Parents on Fun Activities to Improve Children’s Cognitive Development

The ability to process information, think, reason, problem solve, and other aspects of brain development is known as cognitive development. It is the way a child interacts with his environment, then acquires knowledge and learns to infer from experience. Our planning for our child’s future starts with sparking curiosity, conversations and building projects with household items like buttons, pieces of hardware, paper and blocks and a child learns different cognitive development skills at as it goes through stages of development.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Aarti Bakshi, Developmental Psychologist and SEL Consultant at SAAR Education, revealed that while positive school results promote child well-being, are social and make friends, reduce Anxiety and confusion are our requirements, so SEL (Social Emotional Learning), ensures this as well as good cognitive development. She highlighted the benefits of SEL to ensure cognitive development which includes better cognitive control, enhanced stress coping skills, increased empathetic responses and behaviors, understanding emotions and building esteem. of self and stronger friendships.


Dr. Aarti Bakshi has listed ways to increase your child’s cognitive development. These include:

1. Encourage them to ask questions – This activity allows your toddler to practice problem solving and critical thinking and it can be done intermittently throughout the day. Children realize that every “problem has a solution”, some they can solve by reading, observing and others by a supportive, trusted adult.

2. Cook together – like a family. Stacking pots and pans, making sandwiches and baking cookies with measurements all help with cognitive skills.

3. Practice Mindfulness and Brain Gym – which reinforces attention and concentration.

4. Play Memory Trays – Keep 10 items on a tray, let the family see them, then cover after 30 seconds. Let each member recall the elements

5. Coping Strategies for Emotion Regulation – Like painting, doodling, drawing, dancing with music, spending time with pets, also in nature, as well as writing thank you notes with family.

6. Familiarize yourself with real situations to solve problems – Through stories, discussing real everyday situations and sharing family concerns. When parents share their childhood stories, how they overcame friendship conflicts, solved childhood problems, it supports developmental skills.

According to Tripti Chowdhary Vaid, a child psychologist, “As a child goes through the developmental trajectory from birth to adolescence, every aspect of the individual’s life develops and grows. To be able to stimulate cognitive development at different ages, children can be exposed to different activities that will increase their cognitive abilities. These are the following –

1. Newborns: At this stage, newborns may be exposed to mobile cradles and rattles as they help create awareness of their surroundings and thus improve their visual acuity. Also, showing babies black and white books with simple patterns will help them.

2. Childhood: At this stage, games like peekaboo, making sounds, or hide-and-seek can help the child develop their cognitive skills as they understand the permanence of objects for them.

3. For toddlers, the game becomes a very important factor in helping to develop their cognitive abilities. Singing them songs, light and sound toys, blocks and legos and stacking toys are important for developing their cognitive abilities. Imaginative play (pretend play) also helps a lot.

4. School age: For this age group, activities such as coloring, mazes, puzzles, reading books, playing sports, learning music or dancing all contribute to cognitive development.

5. Pre-teen: At this age, more exposure to board games, books, sports, music, dance, and other arts can help increase their cognitive abilities.

6. Adolescence: This is a crucial time because there are a lot of changes and confusions that teenagers go through. Addressing these questions, allowing them to have discussions and thus form their own opinion is a good way to develop higher-order thinking. Discussions on different topics can also help them understand different perspectives.

Thus, cognitive development is a gradual process and the introduction of these activities can help their development. Adding to the list, Purvi Gandhi, occupational therapist and intervention coach, shared some tips for parents to support cognitive brain development at home for their children:

1. Children should be allowed to complete different challenges (within safe limits). For example, figuring out how to pick up the toy that is high up using the resources available at home.

2. Allow them to solve problems (don’t always give them ready-made solutions), eg if he can’t reach the toy by climbing on the chair, what are the other ways to get it?

3. Stimulate thinking and planning in small situations. For example, planning their body movements (perhaps having to stand on their tiptoes or jump) to get the toy.

Sara H. Byrd