Infant Cognitive Development Activities

Brain development in infants can be a fun and fascinating thing to watch. There are a lot of great ways that you can help stimulate learning in kids, and help to turn them into curious and excited learners. Here is a look at some activities to do with your infant to help them to develop cognitively:

Making Faces
Learning about your face, and how to make expressions is one of the important parts of a child's development. Even before they understand emotions, babies are watching your face for cues. What's cool is that they can often copy you without even realizing they are doing it. Try to stick your tongue out at babies starting at about six weeks, and they will try to copy you. Funny faces will not only make them laugh, it will help them to be more aware of their own faces and the things that it can do.

Sensory Buffet
Another fun thing for your baby is to create a sensory buffet. Bright colors, different textures and different sounds in toys are great at stimulating the mental development in a growing brain. As they move to solid foods, offer a lot of different textures, flavors and temperatures of food on the plate. This will not only help in cognitive growth, it will also make you more likely to have an eater who is not picky as they look forward to mealtimes as sensory wonders.

Making Music
Show your child how to make music with the objects around them. Pat different objects to show them hollow vs solid sounds. Jingle bells, blow whistles and allow them to do the same. Sing with them, even if you make up the words to your own song. Music can tie emotion to learning in ways that are great for child (and adult) learning.

Narrate Your Day
The more you talk to your children, the more they will learn. One of the key things that psychologists have found in regard to the IQ and learning ability of kids is that the more words they have heard in their lifetime, the more likely they are to be intelligent and advanced learners. This is not just the volume of words, it is also the breadth of their vocabulary. Don't dumb down your conversation to your infant or your toddler. The more you speak to them like an adult and teach them specific words, the more they get out of it. For example, start with birdie, but move to robin, eagle, duck, swan, etc. Child brains are sponges. It's important to note that they learn best from living, breathing people. Educational videos and tapes don't give the same level of cognitive absorption, as baby brains tend to dismiss it as background noise.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "Infant Cognitive Development Activities," in PsychologyDictionary.org, January 9, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/infant-cognitive-development-activities/ (accessed December 9, 2019).
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