After School: Your Child’s Cognitive Development

Parents often ask our educators what can be done after school and during calendar breaks to continue to encourage their child’s cognitive development. There are so many things parents can do that are fun for both kids and their parents. These activities are extremely important to your child as their brains continue to develop and build life-long neural pathways and networks. So, what can you do at home and outside of the daycare or preschool to encourage your child’s cognitive growth? Glad you asked.

Early Brain Development

Your child’s brain goes through a series of neurological development stages. The more we learn about this development, the better we can design curriculum and activities to encourage cognitive growth in your child. From gestation all the way through the first year, your child’s brain is growing, building neural pathways, and then paring down those networks into memories and knowledge.

Read More: Early Childhood Brain Development

As your child learns and develops at Kid’s Corner, it is important for parents to support that cognitive learning outside of the school and at home.

Cognitive Development at Kid’s Corner

At Kid’s Corner, we focus on many learning areas, including social, emotional, physical, and intellectual skills, using the Creative Curriculum.  Kid’s Corner supports cognitive learning using the following guidelines:

  1. Child demonstrates positive approaches to learning, including:
    1. Attends and engages.
    2. Persists
    3. Solves problems
    4. Shows curiosity and motivation
    5. Shows flexibility and inventiveness in thinking
  2. Child remembers and connects experiences, including:
    1. Recognizes and recalls
    2. Makes connections
  3. Child uses classification skills
  4. Child uses symbols and images to represent something not present, including:
    1. Thinks symbolically
    2. Engages in sociodramatic play

Keeping these objectives in mind, you can continue that development in your child when you read, play, and interact with them.

Supporting Continued Cognitive Development at Home

As part of our larger goal for your child’s cognitive development, there are some things you can do at home to reinforce learning. Here are a few things you can do outside of daycare and preschool with your child:

  1. Get Out: Take them to interesting places: This creates wonder and engagement.
  2. Symbolic Play and Role Playing: This encourages your child to use their imagination and start to separate the real from the imaginary.
  3. Sing-a-longs: Play your kid’s favorite tunes and ask them to sing along
  4. Make Choices: Asking your child to make choices, from clothes to food to activities, will build decision-making skills.
  5. Metacognition: This is thinking about thinking. Ask your child to share what they’ve learned. They can draw a picture, talk it through, anything that gets them to think about what they were just thinking (learning) about.
  6. Play Games: Use blocks, balls, even rocks to create fun games that promote imagination and problem solving. Memory games like go fish and other match games promote memory development.
  7. Identify Noises: From washing machines to music to the neighbor’s dog, learning to identify sounds is part of your child’s cognitive growth.
  8. Practice Counting and the Alphabet: Need something in a pinch? Make some fun out of counting or practicing the alphabet

Conclusion

At Kid’s Corner, we focus on your child’s cognitive development in everything we do, from classroom learning to activities to play. We are often asked by parents, “How can I keep it going at home?” Chances are, you’re already doing many of these things by staying actively engaged in your child’s growth. But if you’re looking for additional ideas, we hope we’ve provided you with some ideas.

Have questions? Give us a call or schedule a tour at one of our campuses in Gilbert or Mesa!

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