For centuries, little was known about infant education, and parents had no concrete information to guide their approach to their child’s development. Today, early childhood development has become a priority to researchers and governments all around the world. Parents can now access all the information they need to make informed decisions for their child’s development at a click of a button.
What the research has made clear is that that there are many ways for caregivers to promote an infant’s cognitive, motor, emotional, and social development. Below, we discuss how infants learn, and provide 5 cognitive activities for infants that promote development.
How Do Infants Learn?
It is never too early to start teaching your baby, but structuring that learning is essential for your child’s development. Infants learn best through interactive play in a caring and nurturing environment. Parents can start incorporating cognitive activities for infants before they are born. According to researches, exposing your child to music from an early age can assist with your child’s memory, focus, and future math skills. Researchers at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) have found that the first 24 months of a child’s life are of great importance to their cognitive development.
Which Activities Promote Infant Development?
Parents can introduce these cognitive activities to their infant’s routine to promote development:
Singing songs with your infant can encourage critical language, memory, and communication skills. As you sing, your child will be encouraged to join in too. Start by playing your child’s favorite song in the car and at home. The repetition can lead to your child recognizing the words and singing along too.
Playing With Textures
Infants are inquisitive, and this helps them to learn. Exposing your infant to different textures, shapes, and colors can help them develop motor and language skills. A simple activity to assist with this development is taking your child’s hand and having them touch different items. Recognizing cold and warm water, the different feel of their toys, and touching different surfaces around your home can be educational and exciting to your infant.
Practicing The Alphabet
Learning the alphabet is one of the first steps to learning to read and write. Introduce your child to the alphabet by playing games, singing song, and reading books about the alphabet. When your infant starts crawling, playing alphabet “hide-and-seek” can be a great game to get them to interact with the letters.
The game takes little preparation. Start by cutting the different letters of the alphabet from brightly colored paper. Hide these letters around the house and encourage your child to find them all. The bright colors and movement engage the child’s senses and can make learning more effective.
Parents and caregivers act as a young child’s tour guide to the world around them. Guiding your child through their day by introducing objects, toys, and activities encourages the development of language skills.
While playing with blocks, you could say, “This is a blue triangle.” While playing outdoors, you could say, “This tree’s leaf is green.” As your child grows older, you can ask them to describe objects to you, too.
Play-dates are beneficial to parents and infants. They provide an opportunity for parents to receive emotional and social support while interacting with their peers. As your infant’s motor skills improve and they move around more, play-dates can become beneficial as they can learn and play more independently. If your child will be attending infant daycare in the future, arranging a visit to an excellent infant daycare facility can ease them into their new routine, too.
Learn More From Childcare Experts
At Providence Children’s Academy, we understand how infants learn. Our curriculum has been designed with your child’s developmental needs in mind. Contact us today at 954-570-6914 to discuss your infant’s development or arrange a visit to our facility.