15 Activities That Help Develop Kid’s Cognitive Skills

15 Activities That Help Develop Kid’s Cognitive Skills

17 May 2022 | 6 min Read

Reema Shah

Author | 490 Articles

The development of cognitive skills in children is crucial as it helps to organise and process information and it helps them respond accordingly. They are acquired through four main stages where the first stage begins right from birth and is referred to as the sensorimotor stage. During this stage, children learn basic reflexes, motor and sensory responses. 

The cognitive skills can be improved with practice and hence involving children in interactive activities is important for their overall development. Let’s take a look at what cognitive skills are and some activities that can help kids develop them. 

What are Cognitive Skills in Children?

The development of cognitive skills in children includes the building of learning skills, which include thinking, attention and memory. These are important skills that let children process sensory information which helps them interpret the information around them.  The sensory system includes touching, hearing, smell, balance and taste. These senses help kids retain information, evaluate it and analyze things around them. 

While each child has some cognitive skills which are a part of their genetic makeup, the majority of these skills are learned. Hence, these learning and thinking skills can be improved when kids practice them on a continuous basis. 

There are some fun activities that help kids develop these cognitive skills.

15 Effective Activities To Develop Cognitive Skills In Children

1. Rhymes, stories and sing-alongs

When you repeat rhymes and stories, it helps kids form long-term memories. Rhymes and songs contain patterns and sequences that young minds can easily pick up. As your child becomes more familiar with a certain song, rhyme or story, just take a pause and ask your little one to fill in the blanks. Songs or rhymes that describe actions help your child react to the cues.

2. Flashcards to Learn Letters

Using flashcards with alphabets to teach children to recognise letters is a good idea. Start with letters in sequence and practice regularly to boost their memory. 

3. Shapes Sorting

Make your toddler sort shapes and teach them how to categorise specific shapes. Take this activity beyond play sessions and make them describe real-life objects in the regular routine. 

Building blocks help kids use their gross motor skills and identify shapes and colours too / Credit – Canva

4. Colours Sorting

Being able to identify colours is important for the toddler’s cognitive development. Give your little one any simple toy with multiple colours and ask them to spot each colour. A Rubik’s cube or colourful building blocks can help them build motor skills as well.

5. Stacking Wooden Blocks

Make your little one’s mind go creative and imaginative by asking them to stack wooden blocks a certain way. Once in a while give them suggestions to help them. 

6. Games of Matching

Give your toddler activities that make them identify the relationships between what they see and hear. For instance, it could be animals and their sounds and how certain objects fit together which could be as simple as a bottle and a cap. Give your little one objects with options and let them figure out what fits where and boost their cognitive skills.

7. Pretend Play

Toddlers have a great imagination and they can use it along with their creativity while playing with kitchen tools or building blocks to make a house. Plays that involve children taking up professions like doctor or teacher help them understand the real world. These plays are effective to teach them to make use of their sensory skills.

Make your little one play games that help use their imagination and logic as well / Credit – Canva

8. Create Daily Routines

Define a set of easy-to-do for your toddler to do regularly. You can do these activities in sequence such as their bath time, lessons, meals, storytime, interactive activities or simply heading to the park. The routine tasks build a sense of discipline in the child. 

9. Cause and Effect with Toys

Simple cognitive activities can be more effective in developing your toddler’s understanding. Get toys with buttons that are not just entertaining but also help your little one build a strong base when it comes to cause and effect.  The bright colours and sounds grab your little one’s attention while being fun.

10. Puzzle Solving

Puzzle games help your little one learn logical skills while engaging them in fun ways. Give games where the toddler needs to match the puzzle piece with the sounds the respective animals produce, or simply arrange them in a specific orientation.

11. Creativity with Board and Chalk

When your child draws on the board, it helps him to think freely and use their creativity. The blackboard gives them the chance to think of multiple ideas while helping improve their motor skills, agility and creativity which are important cognitive skills. 

12. Hide Objects

Ask your child to point out the object by shuffling any object between your hands. You can also hide an object under a box and ask your little one to point out where it is. It helps them develop short-term memory and the ability to form images mentally. 

Use colourful objects to help your child retain the names of the colours / Credit – Canva

13. Involve Them in Chores

Kids pick what their parents do, so making them do a chore can instil a sense of responsibility in them. Additionally, these fun activities make them learn how to follow instructions. Make them put toys back in the box, clean their toys or as simple as handing you an object that they will be able to hold. 

14. Spend Time Outdoors and Visit Places

Monitor your child while you give them some unstructured playtime. This helps to boost creativity and make them improvise as per the need of the play activity. Playtime without digital devices helps them improve their attention span while also familiarising them with what’s around in the world. Visit different places and do fun things together while you’re out there. They will learn expressions as they come back home and tell you about their experiences.

15. Repeat Numbers 

Identifying numbers is another important cognitive skill. By simply asking them what their age is or making them repeat numbers through games or things around will help them get acquainted easily. 

Cognitive skills start to develop within the first 24 months of your child, and hence it is important that you make them practise and learn on a regular basis. It forms a base for lifelong learning while preparing them for schooling and professional life.

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