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How Games Can Enhance Brain Development in Children

03-06-2013 / By: Easy Life

A baby’s brain at birth contains 100 billion neurons. A trillion of brain-cell connections called the neural synapses will grow during toddlerhood. Neural synapses are not connected together through stimulation are pruned and lost during a child's school years. Although an infant's brain does have some neurological hard wiring such as the ability to learn any language, it is more pliable and more vulnerable than an adult's brain. Interestingly enough, a toddler's brain has twice as many neural connections as an adult's brain.

Brain development in toddlers happens at a lightning-fast pace with or without your input, but by offering games and activities to help, you can become an active participant in your baby's intellectual growth and development. Toddlers don't need complicated games to learn, though. Simple games that engage and excite your child will do more to boost his/her brain power than complex, packaged offerings.

Before a child can learn successfully, he/she needs to be immersed in an environment conducive to reaching her/his brain's full potential. This doesn't mean you need to buy her special items marketed to boost her brainpower, though. It is more important is that the child has a safe, childproofed space to explore, plenty of stimulating experiences and a quiet place to retreat when the toddler needs to rest and recharge. Your job as a parent is to guide your baby and provide the things she needs for her brain to get to work learning and growing.

Repetition is the key for laying down neuronal pathways that lead to learning, so engage your child in simple games that reinforce important ideas and concepts. Games like patty-cake improve a toddler's motor skills while also providing easy-to-remember repetitive rules. Games involving music and language also work to build brain connections and stimulate mental development. You should try to find games that involve rhyme, rhythm and repetition, such as singing a song that your child then repeats to you or adds on verses. Games and activities that let your toddler be creative also help build the brain.

In order to enhance your child’s learning abilities, offer a variety of fun and creative activities so that your child does not get bored and gets different types of brain stimulation. You can use music, art and physical activity to create your own games based on your child's specific needs and interests. When your child enjoys the game, he/she will learn more from it, so keep the focus on fun at this age, not on mastering a particular skill. Likewise, if you want to introduce a new game to your toddler, don't be disappointed if your child would rather do something else. Letting your toddler explore on his/her own is better for brain development that requiring her to play a particular game.

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