Sep 6, 2009

Brain matters?



“The term cognitive development is defined as the intellectual growth that begins at birth and

continues through adulthood. Children begin learning from the moment they are born by looking, listening, and interacting with people and objects (Gleitman, 1981). Cognitive development is the development of the learning structures and systems in the brain.”


For surely we all know that, but seldom we remember (and that’s why we tend to compare kids).


Yes, all children develop at different rates. But we as caregiver can help them developer faster by giving it a little boost.


The key to helping them develop successfully is understanding their individual needs and interacting with them as much as possible. To understand the role of caregivers in facilitating the process of the cognitive development of their infants and toddlers.


The main thing to remember is that you can take an active role in the children’s cognitive development by playing with them, singing to them, planning stimulating activities for them, reading to them, and encouraging them to explore their environment.


Infants and toddlers are like sponges; they absorb everything about their environment (Lally, Torres, & Phelps, 1993)!


Infants and toddlers explore their world and learn through sensory and motor experiences (Gleitman,1981). They learn that things have different textures, colors, shapes, and sizes. Infants and toddlers learn to discriminate your voice and your face from others.


Talking, reading, and singing or playing music to your infants and toddlers will foster their cognitive growth (Feierabend, 1996).


Talking to your infant or toddler is soothing and the child learns from the sounds. When you talk to an infant or toddler, hold the child or stand very close to his/her face. The child may try to imitate your words or facial expressions. Have conversations with older children and listen when they try to talk back (Mahn).


Read to your infants or toddlers every day. They

are eager to hear language. Reading helps the children learn the sounds of our language and is very important for cognitive growth (Mahn).


Music also stimulates cognitive development in children. Sing songs and play music for the children. Choose music that is interesting and imaginative for the children (Feierabend,1996).

There are many different types of activities and materials that are designed to help promote cognitive development. The following are just a few examples.


See how many you are currently incorporating into your daily activities.


Infants

  • Hold a rattle in front of an infant’s face and move it slowly from side to side.
  • Hang a mobile over the crib of a non-sitting infant. He/she will enjoy watching it.
  • Play classical music for infants.Play the recital of the Quran does also helps to sooth the baby’s emotion and stimulate the brain’s wave.
  • Read to infants every day. Reading helps children develop early literacy skills (Mahn).
  • Sing and talk to infants during feeding time and while changing diapers.
  • Give older infants a set of nesting blocks. They will enjoy taking them apart and putting them back together.
  • Play peek-a-boo with infants.
  • Place an unbreakable mirror in a place where an infant can see his/her reflection.

Toddlers

  • Read to toddlers every day. Name objects in the book and let the children point to them.
  • Hide a toy behind your back and encourage the child to find it.
  • If the child is saying words, such as ball, expand on them. Say, “Did you find that ball?” This may help the child begin to use sentences (Mahn).
  • Put pictures of familiar items on the walls at the child’s eye level. Encourage the child to name the objects.
  • Encourage the children to stack blocks, arrange toys in a line and unload/reload the toy box.
  • Sing songs to the children and encourage them to sing with you.

These are the few things that many experts have suggested for caregiver to do, but I'm sure many moms out there had tried more interesting and fun activities. As for me and Miya, we sing, dance, watch educational videos, we cook, we clean, we even play dress up and etc.


From the poll I held earlier, we can see that mommies out there have already been having activities with their little ones to stimulate those little minds.



By now I believe, most moms have realized that as you begin to develop activities for your children, keep in mind that young children of the same chronological age often function on many different developmental levels. You must observe each child carefully to see how you can adapt the activity to meet individual needs. Start with simple activities and then move to more complex ones. Be sure to offer a variety of materials and activities that promote cognitive development. By providing the children with many choices, they can participate in the ones with which they are the most comfortable.


Most important, have fun!

2 comments:

Ely Hasrul said...

p/s - i kadang compare gak budak minum susu ibu ngan fm nih.. heheheh dengki siot..

good info.. kena pektis lagik nih..

5577 said...

liking this entry!
very informative.. i mmg suke ckp ngan nadhrah..
tu yg dia jd sgt becok.. haha! but my mom she's just like me masa kecik.. byk ckp n byk tanya..
i also try to be with her in most of her activities..

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor nor am I a lawyer. I am not a scientist nor am I an expert. I am just a wife and a mother, who is putting her thoughts and findings in a blog. All of the posting on this website & my blogs were written by me for educational purposes and as my sentimental library, but are not meant to diagnose nor treat any medical disorders. Any other materials that I may have quote from other published materials are for educational purposes only and not for any other manipulative reasons. Anyway, whatever weird stuff that I published are the real stuff that I believe works for me. Tips and tricks that might work for me. You are free to put it in your head if you thinks its valuable, but if you think its rubbish... Please don't mock me. Do please shut your pie hole.
 
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