I always enjoy watching my kids play with my parents, in-laws or grandmother. That is because they are so innovative when it comes to keeping the kids occupied and happy. They do not need any devices/ TV or even any kinds of fancy toys or games but make use of simple things in the house or lying around. It is really amazing how they can come up with such a variety of activities and each of these are not just to keep the kids occupied, but they also help stimulating brain development.
It is a known fact that the early years of a child lay the foundation for brain development. Not just these early years, but the brain development actually starts right from the womb. So, the mom’s diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding as well as the baby’s diet once he starts weaning are of utmost importance in developing infant cognition. Include these 5-essential, brain developing nutrients in yours and your baby’s diet. Providing these nutrients along with engaging the babies in simple brain-stimulating activities in known as FeedIQ – they way to feed IQ power to your baby.
Brain Stimulating Activities
Here are some everyday activities, that I have learned from my mother, mother-in-law, and grandmothers that help in stimulating the baby’s brain
One thing very noticeable when you watch any grandmother play with infants or toddlers is how they have different songs and rhymes for almost every activity or occasion. Giving a bath comes with a song, combing hair has another song, cutting nails another, eating food, laying the bed, folding bedsheets – all these activities have some or the other rhyme associated with them. And the best part is that you will hear similar rhymes in almost every household where there is someone old and someone new😊
Being from a multicultural family, my kids are very lucky to hear these rhymes in a different language by my parents and a different language by my in-laws. These rhymes help babies associate activities with words and tunes, right from the time they are infants and even as they grow.
Once your baby starts focusing on objects, as well as on people, all parents start playing the most common peek-a-boo game. This is one of the best ways to stimulate your baby’s senses. Along with that, try coming close to your baby and then moving far. Another variation of this is adding different sounds while coming close and far along with complementary expressions. So, a loud noise could be complemented with an expression of surprise and a slow one with that of sleep and so on.
As your baby starts to grow, pointing to different parts of the body and teaching them their names, showing them animal and bird pictures along with the sounds they make are all very helpful in visual stimulation.
Messy play and touch-and-feel stimulating activities.
If you watch babies in water or playing around with sand, you will realize how they all love being messy and touch as well as feel the different textures and objects around. When we were babies, playing on the ground, crawling around and trying to explore the different objects around us was something that our parents and grandparents encouraged. So, exposing the babies to different textures in the form or rattles, teethers, textured books, soft toys and plushies of different textures are very helpful. Something as simple as giving them a metal spoon and some plates and allowing them to make some noises with them too help them develop different senses.
These were the simple day to day activities that our elders used, which not only kept us busy but also were a great brain stimulating exercise. And they did all this since they didn’t have the short-cut of the TV or a device that we so often resort to. Watching them with my children teach me not just this but also a lot of effortless patience that so many in our generation struggle to maintain.