Did you know that between birth and four years old, your child’s brain is growing rapidly? That means it’s the perfect time to boost their learning. Here’s how…
Playing is an essential part of development. Through play, your child learns valuable skills such as problem solving, sharing, language and number skills, and emotional intelligence. Everyday play might include counting bricks as they build a tower, drawing a circle or a straight line, working out how a puzzle fits together or showing you their nurturing side by taking care of a doll. Encourage your child to play with a wide range of toys and don’t forget to join in – your little one might be able to count five bricks on their own but with your help they could get to 10!
Choose healthy foods
A varied and healthy diet is essential for brain development and growth. Fruit and vegetables are packed full of brain-boosting vitamins and minerals, but it can be hard to get your child to eat enough of them. Try blending veggies into a pasta sauce or serve them raw with a dip. Protein is essential for the development of cells: eggs are a great source and they contain choline, a nutrient that plays an integral part in the development of your child’s brain. Another key nutrient is omega-3, which not only helps brain development but, as some studies have shown, can boost memory and help manage behavior. Omega-3 is found in oily fish such as salmon, so try making your own fish fingers, fish cakes or a fish pie to tempt your child. Energy, and plenty of it, will fuel a little one’s growing brain, so stock up on healthy carbohydrates such as wholegrain cereal, bread, rice and grains – these all have the extra benefit of adding much needed fiber to your little one’s diet (which can help digestion and regulate the supply of glucose to the body).
Reading with your child is a fantastic way to support their learning as it not only improves language and vocabulary, which are essential for communication, it also fuels the imagination. Enjoying a book together can help with listening skills, improves concentration and teaches children about the world around them. From dinosaurs to princesses, your little one is bound to find a book or story that captures their imagination, and if you can instill a love of reading into your child at an early age it will give them a head start when they go to kindergarten. So, snuggle up and enjoy discovering new worlds together – who knows where your next adventure will take you.
Offer praise and encouragement
Finally, one of the key ingredients to help your little one grow and develop, is you: your constant love and care is the glue that holds everything together. By encouraging your child, you will make them feel secure and confident enough to take the next steps along this incredible learning journey.