Here are some tips to help your toddler develop intellectually, and make him grow smart:
- This is the golden age of exploration for your child. Your role at this stage is to be a participant or observer, a provider of toys, and a provider of praise for your child’s good performance.
- Play reinforces the mind-body connection. Baby brain cells continue to multiply when your child runs, climbs, touches, feels, manipulates, throws, and experiments with objects.
- Play games with your toddler and engage with in fun activities with him. Children remember experiences that have an emotional component. Your toddler learns better when he plays with you. Click here for an extended list of toddler activities that help boost his brain.
- Teach your child to try harder – like making a harder climb, walking farther, trying out the slide or the swing in the playground. These build your child’s spirit and strengthen his confidence. In the future, he will know how to have the courage to read a more difficult book, perform in front of people, and do physical feats.
- Your child wants to explore the world, and he can move surprisingly quickly and disappear out of sight. So it is important to child-proof your home. You or someone else should always watch your toddler – and limit the possibility of him getting into trouble.
- Praise effort instead of your toddler’s innate intelligence and ability. Kids who are praised for their efforts early in life tend to work harder and do not give up easily.
- Talk to your toddler – a lot. A young brain is very malleable, that’s why it is easy for your toddler to learn language. Children learn a language by hearing words over and over. The more words your toddler hears, the more neural connections his brain makes. That’s why the more you talk to your child, the better. Use a diverse vocabulary as much as possible. This provides him a good foundation for reading, writing and spelling skills.
- Read to your toddler. Many studies show that students who love learning and do well in school were exposed to reading before preschool. Reading to your child has a lot of other important benefits to his brain.
- Choose toys that are open-ended and leave playing to the imagination. Toys that run on your kid’s imagination are better than those that run on AA batteries. For more detailed information on how to choose toddler toys, click here. Also, to foster your toddler’s natural creativity, create a play environment that’s imagination-friendly.
- One of the important lesson you can teach your toddler is independence and resilience. When your toddler falls, let him pick himself up by himself. As early as possible, teach him to feed himself and put himself to sleep at night.
- Learning a second language, or being bilingual, is found to boost a toddler’s brain function. Consider having a bilingual caregiver, an immersion preschool or a child-appropriate foreign language program.
- Do not allow your toddler to watch too much TV. Studies indicate that young children who watch a lot of television were more likely to experience a range of problems by the fourth grade, including lower grades, poorer health and more problems with school bullies.
- Although tablets can be entertaining, and toddlers can learn a lot from the device while having fun, it is not a good idea to give toddlers too much time with touchscreens. According to experts, too much screen time can hurt toddlers’ developing bodies. Toddlers should develop the muscles that they use for running, jumping, building, drawing, pinching and grasping. Physical therapists say that parents can find plenty of worthwhile educational apps for children, but suggest limiting touchscreen use to no more than 15 minutes at a time, or risk developmental dangers for their kids.
- Your child needs lots of sleep. A study reveals that children who have irregular bedtimes up to the age of three lag developmentally when it came to reading, math skills and spatial awareness. Establish a regular bedtime to which your child adheres.
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