Last time (2 weeks ago) I explained briefly 4 main areas of child development. Today I want to share some tips of games/activities parents can do to help their children in each area! I am going to give suggestions that are helpful for children in the first 5 years of age.
Motor Development (gross and fine). Motor development is all about movement. Have fun moving!
- Make your home safe- Children need to be able to be in a safe environment for them to explore movement with their bodies. Let them crawl, climb, walk and jump as much as possible.
- Play with balls- Playing with balls helps them with hand-eye coordination skills.
- Play with building and stacking toys such as blocks, pegs, and beads – Those toys can really help their fine motor skills.
- Use writing materials- Another great activity that helps strengthen fine motor skills.
Cognitive Development. This area is all about their ability to think.
- Play peek a boo/hide and seek- With this game they learn about object permanence (objects exist even when we can’t see them).
- Let them do things by themselves (so they can figure out how to do it) -This helps with problem-solving skills.
- Place things out of their immediate reach – They will find a way to reach it. Again problem-solving skills.
- Let them try things first then help them – I know it’s hard, because you want to help them all the time. But it’s really important that they start to figure out the world by themselves!
Socio-emotional Development. This is where they build their self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Have play dates – This gives them the opportunity to make friends.
- Pretend play with a doll or a dog – This will help them learn about caring for others.
- Pretend play (eating out) – Helps learning about manners.
- Play with children different ages- This helps them learn how to relate with different people.
- Have a feelings cup/box – Write down or have a picture of different feelings, once in a while discuss them. Talk about a situation when you might feel this feeling and you could even role-play that situation. This will help them to cope appropriately when a situation comes up and the child is not sure how to express his/her feelings.
Language Development. Love this area! Children develop language mostly by imitating you. Make sure you are modeling appropriate language skills and vocabulary. Here are some games you can play:
- Put some objects in a container and name them as you take them out.
- Move your body in different ways and name the movement.
- Pretend play (any familiar situation) – Talk about what happens and the objects you use (e.g. eating dinner)
- Read books – Helps with vocabulary.
There are many more activities you can do to help your child in each area. This is just an example of what you can start doing today!
What area do you think you encourage your child more/less?