How can you set your child up for success in life? The key lies in setting the right foundation for learning. Take a look at some of the factors that can influence your child’s brain development.
We all want the best for our children, and good learning skills will help them through school and into adulthood. The first five years of a child’s life are especially important, as toddlers and preschoolers discover the world around them, and quickly get to grips with language and learning. Lay the foundations of learning now and you’ll give your child the best chance of success in the future.
Our genes play a big part in our intelligence, with all babies born with varying different levels of potential ‘brain power’. However, ‘nurture’ can play a part too.
Let’s take a look at the things that can influence your child’s brain development, and the steps you can take to give them the best head start on their lifelong learning journey:
“Lay the foundations of learning now and you’ll give your child the best chance of success in the future.”
Good nutrition is key to brain development. Here are some examples of brilliant brain-boosting foods:
Always be aware of the risk of allergies and be especially careful when introducing your child to new foods. Growing-up milks like Aptamil Junior 3 are an easy way to help ensure your child gets the best balance of nutrients for good brain health.
Help your child to concentrate and process and retain information by making sure that they get the recommended amount of sleep for their age.
|Age||Nighttime sleep||Daytime sleep||Average total sleep|
|2 years||10 to 12 hours||1 to 3 hours (1 nap)||11 to 14 hours|
|3 years||10 to 12 hours||1 to 3 hours (1 nap)||10 to 13 hours|
|4 years||10 to 13 hours||0 to 2.5 hours (1 or no nap)||10 to 13 hours|
You’ll find some tips to help your toddler sleep here.
Being active has been shown to help with memory and concentration, so encourage your child to move more, play and be energetic! There are lots of easy ways to add activity to their day, including:
A healthy, loved and cared for child is going to be in the best possible position to learn. Help to strengthen your child’s immunity with prebiotics (found in Aptamil Junior 3 Growing-up milk), and set aside some quality time to spend with them every day.
Children learn best when they’re active, engaged, well-stimulated, so giving them plenty of opportunities to experience the world around them will get them off to a great learning start. From trips to the farm to messy play at home, there are endless different ways to capture your child’s interest and get those brain cells sparking!
There are various different stages of child development, so it’s important to keep your expectations of your child’s learning skills in line with their age.
Always be patient with your child through the stages of child growth and development – some children just take longer to grasp certain skills or concepts. However, if your child is very behind in one area, or is behind in several areas, their doctor will be able to check for any underlying issues that could be making learning more difficult.
You can help them learn by:
You can help them learn by:
You can help them learn by:
“There are various different stages of child development, so it’s important to keep your expectations of your child’s learning skills in line with their age.”
There are lots of things to consider when you’re considering how to increase brainpower. As mentioned above, the following all play a part in your child’s development:
When it comes to brain stimulation, play is the best and most enjoyable way for children to learn. There are lots of ‘brain training’ games that will help with your child’s brain development and learning skills, while still being fun.
Reading to your child is one of the most important brain exercises. Make a game of the story by asking your child questions or asking them to point to something on the page – flowers or a car, for example.
Help your child to extend their vocabulary by asking them to further describe an object. The car is small and blue, or the flowers are pink and pretty, for example.
From age 3, you can help your child to make connections between letters/words and objects. Flashcards with words on one side and pictures on the other are a great tool for brain games. As your child develops you can also use the cards to play memory games, where they recall the picture by looking at the word (and visa versa).
Sorting objects into various categories is one of the simplest and easiest brain games for kids. As your child grows you can make the categories more complicated. For example, finding the blue toys becomes finding the small, blue, round toys.
Asking your child to recall items that you’ve placed in a box will help to develop their memory and language skills. As your child grows you can make this game more difficult by not showing them the object first. Instead, describe the object and let them guess what it could be.
The key is to make learning a fun thing that you and your child do together. To help your child to learn through play, provide plenty of books, puzzles, sorting games and toys for them to enjoy. You’ll also find lots of online learning games that you can play with your child.
“When it comes to brain stimulation, play is the best and most enjoyable way for children to learn.”
There are some disorders that can make it more difficult for a child to learn. A child with ADHD may need additional help, as the symptoms can make learning a challenge.
ADHD symptoms in children fall into three categories; inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Having a hyperactive child can make learning a challenge, but it’s important to remember that many of these symptoms are considered normal behavior for a toddler or preschooler.
The most common age range for ADHD diagnosis is six to 12 years old. However, if you do have any concerns about your child’s ability to learn, or their development in general, your doctor will be able to tell you more about ADHD in children.
There are lots of things that you can do to help your child make the most of this amazing pre-school learning window. Developing good learning skills now will help to set them up for a successful future – happy learning!
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