Cognitive development is crucial during each period of a child's life. As an infant, everything they do - such as seeing, listening, and smelling new things - directly impacts their cognitive development. This is why it is immensely important for caregivers to present infants with a wide range of stimulating activities in situations where they can become fully and safely engaged with their surroundings.
The developmental theorist Jean Piaget stated that infants develop their cognitive abilities through numerous sensory and motor experiences, according to Livestong.com. Prosolutions Training offers early childhood development training focusing on how to help infants refine their sensory and motor skills. To help your infants achieve these essential developmental milestones, here are a few strategies and activities you should consider:
Speak with them!
You should always talk with your babies. Even though they can't provide meaningful insight when you tell them how your day is or about your favorite hobbies, this doesn't mean you shouldn't try! Not only will this expose them to language early on, but it will get their tiny neural gears turning. You should also make sure to maintain eye contact to encourage their emotional development as well. For example, hold them up and tell them a fun story, paying close attention to the rise and fall of your inflection, along with the movement of your lips. Try to refrain from "baby talk" as well, so they will experience real-life language use, not a simplified version.
Stimulate their senses
Infants need to hear sounds, feel different textures, and taste different flavors. Through this exposure, they will begin to differentiate between various sounds or textures, and continue their cognitive development. For example, don't just provide your infants with one type of rattle toy. Mix it up! This way, they can begin playing with bells, drums, and much, much more. They will also learn how to grasp unique objects, which will help to improve their fine motor skills.
Introduce them to causes and effects
Most caregivers know that block play is an important activity that promotes motor skills growth and spacial awareness. However, it is also an excellent representation of cause and effect, which is an important part in your infants' developmental journey. For example, you can work with your infants to create a small structure out of the blocks and then encourage them to push it over. This way, they will begin to comprehend simple cause (push) and effect (fall). Other ways you can introduce this concept to them is through filling containers with sand, water and other materials, and then dumping it out.
At ProSolutions Training, we offer online childhood development training courses, such as "Brain Power! Cognitive Development in Infants," for interested early childhood education professionals who want to gain more knowledge about their field. Contact us 8:30 AM-5:30 PM (EDT) Monday-Friday. You can reach us by phone at 770.642.6939 or 800.939.9694, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.