Encouraging Next Steps
Here are some of the top activities that you can do with your child to aid in the development of their cognitive, motor, emotional and communications skills.
As soon as your little one turns six months old, their brain begins to rapidly grow - reaching about 80% of an adult’s brain size by 3 years, resulting to a 360° Development in their Cognitive, Motor, Emotional and Communications skills.
This is why it is important for parents to make sure that all playtime activities are geared towards helping them achieve these developmental milestones:
Milestone: Finding hidden objects
Encourage milestone development: Hide yourself behind a door. Call to your child and let him follow your voice to discover you.
Why: Hiding games help your child understand the concept of object permanence (objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed).
Next: Take turns hiding: Cover your head with a blanket and let your child pull it off to reveal you. Next, put it loosely over their head and pull it off. They’ll catch on that the game works both ways.
Milestone: Reaching out for and grasping objects
Encourage milestone development: Offer toys that have buttons to push, knobs to turn, and levers to pull.
Why: These gadgets allow your child to practice grasping and letting go, trying to use a pincer grasp, and handling objects.
Next: Introduce blocks. At first your child will be more interested in knocking them down, but by 9 -12 months, he may be able to stack them into a tower.
Milestone: Imitating words
Encourage milestone development: Repeat words you think your child is trying to say.
Why: Your child has sensed that things have names and begins to link the sound with a word.
Next: He’ll use a particular sound (“ba ba”) every time he sees a given object (a ball). Help reinforce his use of language by repeating the correct pronunciation: “Yes, ball. That’s a green ball!”
Milestone: Distinguishing between family and strangers
Encourage milestone development: Don’t force your child to interact with people he’s unfamiliar with.
Why: Stranger anxiety is a normal phase in emotional development. Your child is beginning to differentiate between strange and familiar faces.
Next: Have unfamiliar people, such as a new babysitter, slowly interact with your child. Suggest that they offer him a toy while he sits on your lap. He may warm up to their presence and even initiate a smile.
What role does nutrition play?
As your child learns, he is taking in information and creating pathways to storage areas. This requires energy, which can only come from the nutrition he receives. Getting the right nutrients such as DHA, ARA & Choline are essential as it lays the groundwork for his well-rounded development.