From the moment your child is born, you want to help them become the best version of themselves, at every step of the way. No matter how old they are, what their personality is shaping to be and their favorite activities, any child’s brain can benefit from a little development boost. Technically, nobody’s brain is finished developing completely until the age of 25, so toddlers are certainly still in that place where brain development matters. They’re aware of the world around them, but they also are still quite impressionable. Essentially, they’re little learning machines.
If you’re looking for ways to develop your toddler’s brain, you’re actually in luck. There are so many amazing things you can introduce and habits you can bring into your family to help your child develop as best as possible. While each child and family is different, and your household may already have a few favorites from this list, you can try out however many you need until you find a diverse group that strikes your fancy. Here are just a few habits you can pick up to help your toddler’s brain development.
1. Listen to Music
Music is good for the brain at pretty much any stage of life — many studies even showing that music can help brain development as early as in utero. That being said, introducing your toddler to a variety of sounds and styles can be highly beneficial for their development. Specifically, classical music, jazz and music with a wide range of instruments can be highly effective.
2. Go Outside
Spending time outdoors can introduce your toddler to a variety of intriguing stimuli, from plant life to animals. Not only does this build familiarity with the outside world, but it can also be a great way to get some time outside for Mom and Dad, too.
3. Baby Yoga
While it might sound a little odd for babies and toddlers to do yoga, it can actually be a great experience for both brain development and bonding. There are plenty of classes and videos that involve both parent and baby, so you can dive in together in working on spacial awareness, listening and communication skills.
4. Read Together
You may find yourself wondering with this one, at what age do children learn to read? When do kids learn to write? While each child is different, you can use reading and writing to encourage brain development in your toddler. Even if they can’t read yet, you can read books together by reading to them and allowing them to follow along. Hearing the sound of your voice and engaging in that tonal communication can actually be highly beneficial for brain development.
5. Play With Toys
Kids are often connected to screens now more than ever. But one classic habit that can actually do a lot for brain development is playing with traditional toys. Everything from dolls to blocks to play dough can help children learn things like spacial awareness, body awareness, sensory development and creative thinking skills.
6. Don’t Baby Talk
This one might be a bit controversial. Of course, your baby is adorable and you love them, which might lead you to wanting to baby talk them. The traditional “goo goo, ga ga” that you see plenty of people talking about when it comes to babies. Baby talk can be tempting, but many studies show that speaking normally to your kids at any age can help them develop communication skills, vocabulary and social awareness. There are many different versions of this. While some parents prefer to speak to their children as if they’re any other adult, others use “parentese” which is a way of using regular words and vocabulary, just slightly slowed and altered tonally. Either way, avoiding baby talk can be helpful for your child to adjust to the real world as they grow.
7. Connect Emotionally
One of the best ways to further your child’s development is to connect with them emotionally. Not only can this help with emotional development, but it can also provide a foundation for communication and verbal skills. This involves responding and engaging with them about their emotions, even when they’re very young.
Helping Your Child’s Brain Development
There are so many habits that can help your child turn into the best version of themselves. With you raising them and caring for them, there’s no stopping their development! Whether you go to baby yoga classes, read together or spend time each day outside, you can find the habits that work best for your child and your family. When you do that, you can create the best experience possible for your child to learn and grow.