Cognitive abilities are defined by how a child acquires knowledge, learns, and interacts with the surrounding environment. Cognitive development can be challenging for some students, especially for those with learning disabilities like dyslexia, ADHD, and others could face problems developing cognitive abilities.
Special educators and therapists can help children with severe challenges. However, parents and educators can also help children through cognitive learning activities. These activities can help students learn effectively and develop essential soft skills like problem-solving, logical thinking and more with constant practice. For students, who have any learning disabilities, occupational therapies can help. With professional help, they can learn and grow at their pace.
I absolutely love the overview pages in “understanding how we learn” #cognitivelearning @olicav. Very clear and a great way to introduce the chapter! pic.twitter.com/e0csg5l3xN
— Leanne Jennison (@LeanneJennison) September 9, 2019
Cognitive learning activities can push students to navigate different problems without any prior preparation easily. The purpose is to get them thinking and applying their knowledge and problem-solving strategies without any preparation and lead to a solution. While this journey can differ for all students, practising cognitive learning activities will help all kids develop cognitive skills, i.e., attention, concentration, memory, and perception.
Here are a few cognitive learning activities that parents and educators can practice with kids and help them warm up their cognitive abilities:
It is an excellent activity for kids as they understand how sounds relate to their environment. One way to do this is to help them know the sounds of animals and birds around, like cats, dogs, birds chirping, etc. The other way is to use multimedia and help them learn the sounds of varied animals, like lions, monkeys, cows and more, that are not usually around us. You can later play the sounds from YouTube or any online tools for pre-schoolers and ask kids to identify them. The same can be done for vehicle sounds like an ambulance siren, police sirens, and more. This will provide the stimuli for sound identification and engage the kids.
Shapes and Colours
Practising shapes and colours with kids can help them with cognitive skills. Help them understand, learn and identify shapes and colours. Use actual prompts like fruits and vegetables for colour identification. For shape knowledge and identification, you can consider making cut-outs in different shapes or using objects that can explain the shapes to the kids.
Once kids are thorough with colours and shapes separately, level up by mixing the two and ask kids to pick up a blue square among other forms of similar or different colours.
You can also include the objects around you. For instance, the orange fruit is circular and orange in colour.
Play a Variety of Games
Using games to encourage problem-solving and creativity is a great way to engage kids. However, the challenge is to bring in variety and play different games. Kids tend to stick to one game they enjoy the most, but you must keep innovating and mixing things to engage them. You can play peek-a-boo, building blocks, use prompts for an object, colour identification, and more such games. As your kids age, you can engage them in board games, puzzles, and hide and seek. The objective is to engage them so they can use all their basic and spatial senses.
Offering choices to kids helps them feel independent and confident. And these two elements can help kids today in the long run. Offer options for clothes, food, games, and wherever possible. Ask them if they want to wear a brown t-shirt or black or want yoghurt in their meal or cheese. These small choices will help them develop decision-making abilities and help them build confidence, develop decision making and feel independent.
Practising counting can help kids in learning numbers faster. Identify opportunities to practice counting throughout the day. Count the number of pencils, crayons, vegetables, dresses, slides in the park, or anything your child can count. You’ll soon find out how your kid has learnt numbers and is counting everything.
Practice the Alphabet
Alphabet songs, alphabet books, alphabet puzzles and more such tools can be used to practice the alphabet with kids. Help your kids learn and identify the alphabet. You can cut out alphabet squares and use bright colours to highlight each alphabet. Mix all the cut-outs and ask kids to look for any particular alphabet. These cut-outs can further be used to spell words and practice English words. Use the cut-outs you like and innovate new games to engage and teach your kids.
Visit Interesting Places
Ditch the local park occasionally, and visit museums, libraries, farms, or vegetable markets. The best learning comes from real-life experiences, and you must take kids to different places occasionally. Try asking your child, “If we do this, what do you think will happen?”. Observe kids as they explore new places and ask questions. Listen to their responses, and observe their reactions. These adventures will give your kid a learning experience and help you bond better. This activity will also help kids learn social manners and develop critical thinking.
Asking questions can lead to improved problem-solving skills. And that entirely depends on your questions; how about asking why we need to climb down the stairs carefully or why we must pick up toys after play, which toys they want to keep and other ones they want to give away and more such questions. Asking questions would help kids learn how to solve a problem and better understand their environment and how it works.
Engaging kids in the abovementioned activities can help them develop cognitive abilities effectively. Practice the abovementioned activities consistently, and you’ll see kids blooming and learning joyfully.
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