Playtime is crucial to a child’s healthy brain development. As babies, they enjoy games like peek-a-boo because it stimulates and allows them to socialize and interact with others, and as they grow older, areas of the brain relating to cognition, dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and other important neural behaviours come into play. These five games allow you to exercise key areas relating to your child’s mental development, while having much-needed quality time, effectively killing two birds with one stone.
It sounds a bit cliché, but playing catch with kids is one of the easiest ways to help them develop their hand-eye coordination. Most sports are ideal, because they usually require focus on a specific object in relation to the body.
- I Spy
This is a great game to play during those long drives, or when you’re out and about and want your child to settle down and become focused. This classic game exercises their language and recognition skills, especially when asking them to find things they’ve recently learnt about.
- Building Blocks and Legos
These help your child develop their sense of spatial awareness, organizing blocks in relation to each other, particularly if they’re of different shapes and sizes. You can ask them to replicate certain patterns and structures to test their analytical thinking as well.
- Memory Games
These improve concentration and visual memory, and can range anywhere from asking your child to recall what sound an animal in a picture makes, to guessing which two overturned cards are the same. There are so many kinds to choose from.
- Counting and ABCs
Learning the orders of letters and numbers can be an auditory experience with sing-alongs, a visual experience with videos, or a tactile experience with blocks or cards. Any way you choose to mix it, your child will definitely be working those mental muscles.
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