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Talking with Your Toddler. Josette and Ba Luvmour.
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Teaching the 3 Cs: Creativity, Curiosity, and Courtesy. For Teachers of Young Children. Learn as many tunes as you can, or make up your own verses "This is the way we change your diaper, change your diaper, change your diaper. Play Bach, the Beatles, or Britney Spears. Some research suggests that learning the rhythms of music is linked to learning math. When you announce, "I'm going to turn on the light now" before flipping the switch, you're teaching cause and effect.
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In fact, tickle her all over. Laughter is the first step in developing a sense of humor. And playing games like "This little piggy" finish by tickling her under the chin or "I'm gonna get you" teaches your child to anticipate events. Be a funny face. Puff up your cheeks, and have your toddler touch your nose. When she does, poof!
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Have her pull your ear, and then stick out your tongue. Make a funny noise when she pats your head.
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Keep to the same routine three or four times, then change the rules to keep her guessing. Point to a photo of Uncle Frank, and call him "Mommy. And do it for as long as you can. It's a fact that schoolkids who were breast-fed as infants have higher IQs. Plus, nursing is a great time to bond with your infant by singing, talking , or simply stroking that delicious baby hair. Make the most of diaper time. Use moments on the changing pad to teach body parts or pieces of clothing. Narrate to help your baby learn to anticipate routines. Turn off the tube. Your baby's brain needs one-on-one interaction that no TV show, no matter how educational, can provide.
Don't forget to give it a rest. Spend a few minutes each day simply sitting on the floor with your baby -- no music, bright lights, or playful tricks. Let him explore, and see where he takes you. Lie down on the floor, and let your baby climb and crawl all over you. It's cheaper than a jungle gym and lots more fun! You'll help boost her coordination and problem-solving skills. Build an obstacle course. Boost motor skills by placing sofa cushions, pillows, boxes, or toys on the floor and then showing your baby how to crawl over, under, and around the items. Shake it up, baby.
Teach her to twist and shout, do the funky chicken, or twirl like a ballerina. Play "follow the leader. Stop at interesting places to play. Now follow his lead. As your toddler gets older, he'll stretch his creativity to see if you really will do everything he does, like make silly noises, crawl backward, or laugh. Take your baby on walks in a front carrier, sling , or backpack, and narrate what you see -- "That's a little dog" or "Look at those big trees!
When you need a break from your song and dance, visit the supermarket. The faces, sounds, and colors there provide perfect baby entertainment. Switch your toddler's high chair to the other side of the table. You'll challenge his memory of where things are placed at meals. Every now and then, delight your baby by gently blowing on her face, arms, or tummy. Make a pattern out of your breaths, and watch her react and anticipate.
Grab a few empty plastic food containers, and hide one of your baby's small toys under one. Shuffle the containers, and let him find the prize. Your hide-and-seek antics do more than bring on the giggles. Your baby learns that objects can disappear and then come back. Even if it seems like your baby repeatedly drops toys off her high chair just to drive you nuts, go fetch. Sleep and cognitive development. In a study tracking Canadian kids from age 2. This was true even for kids whose sleep improved after age 3. Math, logic, and critical thinking. Stanislaus Dehaene is a cognitive scientist and expert on the mathematical brain.
He argues that many kids have poor math skills because they are discouraged from developing an intuitive sense of number. For more information, check out this article about number sense. In addition, see this article about the way that some board games can help preschoolers develop their math skills. And what about logic?
Experimental studies suggest that explicit instruction in critical thinking --including lessons in basic logic, hypothesis testing, and scientific reasoning--can raise a child's IQ. Unfortunately, such lessons are not yet a common part of most high school--let alone middle school curricula. Even worse, I suspect that the media and other influences are training our kids to think with blinders on.
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To see what I mean, read this article on critical thinking in children. Spatial skills are crucial for success in a variety of fields, ranging from physics and engineering to architecture and the visual arts. Your child's performance on spatial tasks has a hereditary component, but it's clear that educational experiences can also have a big impact. Read more about it in my evidence-based overview, "Spatial intelligence in children: And for research-based activities that may boost your child's spatial skills, see this article.
Kids show greater motivation and perform better when they get to choose what they do Iyengar and Lepper It turns out that the effect is culture-specific. One study compared Anglo-American and Asian American kids. While the Anglo-Americans preferred tasks they had chosen for themselves, the Asian Americans showed more motivation when their choices were made for them by trusted authority figures or peers Iyengar and Lepper Some kids may thrive when teachers give them choices. Others might find this approach to be disconcerting.
Toys and games that boost cognitive skills. Although there is evidence that action video games improve spatial skills and may even help dyslexic children learn to read, some of the most important developmental toys and games are the most old-fashioned. For instance, research suggests that toy blocks may enhance spatial, math, problem-solving, and verbal skills.
Find evidence-based information about blocks and other toys in these Parenting Science pages.
Slow wave sleep during a daytime nap is necessary for protection from subsequent interference and long-term retention. Immediate as well as delayed post learning sleep but not wakefulness enhances declarative memory consolidation in children. Neurobiol Learn Mem 89 1: Individual differences in young children's IQ: J Child Psychol Psychiatry.
Sleep after learning aids memory recall. Learning and Memory Rethinking the value of choice: