7 ways to boost your kid’s brain power

According to several child counsellors, the first six years of your child are the most important formative years where the child learns several life skills. Here are ways to boost your baby's brain power in these formative years.

Play with hands: Babies respond well to learning simple sequential games. Involve counting on fingers or playing the game of peek-a-boo with hands for your kid.

Read to your toddler: Choose books with large and colourful pictures, and share your baby's delight in pointing and making noises. For instance, make the animal sounds to go along with farm pictures. Modulate the tone of your voice; simplify or elaborate on storylines; encourage toddlers to talk about books.

Choose appropriate toys: Pick up toys that allow babies to explore and interact. For instance, musical toys, building blocks as well as bright coloured keys help your baby identify objects, colours as well as learn about cause-and-effect relationships.

Respond promptly when your baby cries: Studies show that soothing and cuddling your kid helps him/her to build positive brain circuitry in the limbic area of the brain, which relates to emotions. Your calm holding and cuddling, and your day-to-day intimate engagement with your baby signal emotional security to the brain.

Use body massage: Massaging your infant can decrease his/her stress and enhance their feelings of well-being and emotional security. Loving touches promote growth in young babies. Research has shown that premature babies who are massaged three times daily are ready to leave the hospital days earlier than babies who do not receive messages.

Set up a safe environment: Crawling is not only essential for your kid's physical but also mental development. Baby-proof your house so that you don't have to worry about your crawling baby or toddler. Spatial learning is important, and when your child begins to crawl, he/she will begin to understand parameters such as under, over, near, and far. The kid will be able to establish mental maps of his/her environment and a comfortable relationship with the world in which he/she lives.

Sing to your kid: Don't leave the nursery rhymes only for the teachers. Poems like Ring a Ring O' Roses involving body motions and finger play will help your baby integrate sounds with large and small motor actions.

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