12 Tips To Encourage Your Child’s Cognitive Development

child's cognitive development

All children develop at different rates and with other methods. Throughout their development, they discover and interact with the world around them. This process gives them a chance to hone their skills, increase their knowledge, and explore the different ways they can interact with their surroundings. 

For these reasons, fun activities are vital to a child’s development. They stimulate their brains, assist their motor skills, and allow them to learn new things. They teach them to be critical thinkers, solve problems, and make decisions. These skills are essential to their development and will aid them throughout their lives.

An individual’s cognitive capabilities are determined by perception, attention, memory, working memory, pattern recognition, executive function, concept formation and reasoning, intelligence, and academic performance. The earlier a child learns these skills, the more successful they will be in life.

This guide will tell you how to help your child learn these skills and develop their intelligence.

What is the Best Way to Promote Healthy Cognitive Development?

Various factors affect cognitive development; however, cognitive development (growth, learning, and intelligence) is still primarily a biological process. The brain requires proper stimulation to develop normally, and the preceding list of cognitive skills will help encourage this.

The following factors contribute to healthy cognitive development:

1. Learn & Practice

learn & practice

The best way to promote healthy cognitive development is by providing your child with the opportunity to learn and practice these skills. The more they practice them, the better they will become at using them. You can help your child develop their intelligence by providing toys that require problem-solving skills and encourage creative thinking. 

2. Social Interaction 

Your child’s social skills development is just as important as their intellectual development. Encouraging them to play with other children, attend school and participate in extracurricular activities will help them develop these skills. 

3. Discipline  

Discipline is vital to the development of your child’s intelligence. The more you help them understand why certain actions are wrong and that there are consequences for their actions, the more they will learn from their mistakes.

4. Environment

A child’s environment can have a huge impact on their intelligence. The more stimulating their surroundings are, the more likely they are to learn new things and develop their cognitive abilities. 

5. Diet   

healthy diet is essential for your child’s development. Not only will this give them the nutrients they need to grow properly, but it will also help them avoid developmental problems such as low IQ levels.

6. Sleep 

A child’s sleep patterns can greatly impact their intelligence. If they don’t get enough rest, they will be tired and irritable during the day, affecting their ability to learn new things. 

7. Exercise  

Regular exercise is essential for your child’s physical development. It also affects their mental health and cognitive abilities by improving their memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills.

The 12 Best Fun Activities for Your Child’s Cognitive Development

The cognitive development of your child is an integral part of their growth. It is the ability to learn and process information that helps them become a more well-rounded individual. As a parent, you want to provide your child with the ability to become smarter, faster, and more capable of learning. 

1. Arts & Crafts 

arts and crafts

Arts and crafts are a great opportunity to utilize your child’s fine motor skills. In order to develop a sense of accomplishment and a foundation for thinking skills, there’s nothing like playing with play-doh, finger-painting, drawing, or coloring.

To play with colors, create your own rainbow art where you can add different colors of construction paper in shapes like stripes or squares. Also, making figures out of colors can help them learn about form and how one color can be combined with another for a new creation. 

Through this fun activity, your child will develop their own style of art and the ability to express themselves creatively.

2. Reading

Reading is a very fun activity to do. It is a learning process that opens the mind of a child wide and helps them explore their own ideas, and they can learn more than they could ever imagine. It’s not just a story that makes kids passive. Reading also has many other benefits, like boosting the intellectual ability of kids. Children are taught the basics of reading in preschool as the first step to reading. 

Making reading fun for your kid is essential, especially during their early years. You can do this by reading with them and making it a fun activity. Don’t just focus on the story; talk about what they got from it.

3. Puzzles

children puzzle

Puzzles range from simple to complex and can increase your child’s IQ. Children as young as three can create spatial awareness and spatial intelligence through jigsaw puzzles. They are fun and help develop problem-solving skills, logic, and reasoning.

Children can create their puzzles by making them with blocks or putting together other objects like plates, Play-Doh, or Legos. Mastering these puzzles will teach your child to plan, think critically, and solve problems.

4. Playing “I Spy” or other visual games

Playing “I Spy” or other visual games is fun to help your child’s cognitive development.

Playing “I Spy” can teach your child how to focus their attention on details and remember them for later use. You can also play this game by having your child describe something they see in the room or on TV, which will help them develop their descriptive language skills.

Other visual games that help with cognitive development include learning new words from flash cards, following directions, and drawing pictures.

5. Cooking

child cooking

Cooking together gives you a chance to talk about ingredients, measurements, and the steps involved in making the meal. It’s also great for teaching about healthy eating habits. When you talk about the process of cooking together, you can also discuss what you like and don’t like about different foods. This can lead to an open conversation about healthy eating habits and why it’s important to eat foods that are good for your body.

6. Board Games

Board games are a great way to get your child’s brain working. They can help them develop problem-solving skills and encourage higher-level thinking. Some board games even require children to use math, logic, and critical thinking skills.

Some of the best board games for kids include:

  • Ticket to Ride: This game is fun for the whole family. It helps kids learn about geography and trains while also building critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 
  • Monopoly: Some might say it is a boring game, but it’s a fun way to help kids learn about money management.
  • Scrabble: This game is great for kids learning to spell and read. It also helps them develop their vocabulary and communication skills.
  • Chess: Chess is a great game for kids because it teaches them to think ahead and plan their strategies. It also helps them develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.

7. Music Lessons

music lesson

Learning to play an instrument is a great way to develop your child’s brain. It teaches them discipline, persistence, and patience. It also helps them learn concentration, work hard towards goals, and practice their skills repeatedly until they’re finally good enough to perform. Through this process, they can learn how to work in a group and devise creative solutions to solve problems independently.

8. Build with Blocks

Blocks are one of the best ways to engage your child’s cognitive development. Not only do they help them learn about spatial concepts and the basics of geometry, but they also help them develop fine motor skills, which are important for things like writing and drawing later on.

Make sure you choose a block set with plenty of different shapes, sizes, and colors so your child can build not just boxes but also pyramids, towers, castles, and more!

9. Explore a Museum, Aquarium, or Zoo

child visits museum

Museums, aquariums, and zoos are great places to explore with your kids. The exhibits can help them learn about the world around them and connect what they see and what’s happening in their lives.

There are so many ways to use your visit to a museum, aquarium, or zoo as an opportunity to enhance your child’s cognitive development. You might look for exhibits that help kids learn about science or history; you could also try some hands-on activities or bring along a book on the subject that you can read together after the trip.

10. Imaginative Play or Role Play

Role play is one of the best ways to develop your child’s cognitive development. By encouraging your child to act out different scenarios in their game, they’re learning how to think about themselves and others around them. They’re also learning how to solve problems and make decisions as they go along.

This kind of imaginative play helps children build empathy and learn how other people feel in different situations—which is a valuable skill for anyone to develop.

11. Outdoor Play

Outdoor play is a wonderful way to help your child’s cognitive development. It is an opportunity for them to learn about their environment and place in it while also using their imagination to create new worlds and possibilities.

  • Children who play outdoors are more likely to be physically active, which helps them build strong bones and muscles.
  • They are also more likely to make friends with others at schools or daycares because they can work together on activities like hide-and-seek or tag games.
  • Outdoor play allows children to explore things around them, such as insects or dirt, which will help them develop an interest in nature and science at an early age.

12. Using Technology

child's cognitive development

No matter what kind of technology your child uses, from the TV to their tablet, it’s essential to make sure that they’re using it in a healthy way. Here are some ideas for encouraging your child to play with technology in a way that promotes their cognitive development:

  • Read online stories with your child.
  • Play educational games together.
  • Watch educational videos on YouTube or Netflix.
  • Listen to educational podcasts. 
  • Play strategy games like chess or checkers.
  • Explore different apps and learn how to use them.


Building a solid foundation of cognitive development during childhood is necessary for future success. Children exposed to different activities that support these skills are more likely to succeed as they grow up. If you want to help your child develop cognitive skills, try implementing some of these ideas into your daily life. 

Are you looking for a reliable and affordable school for your child? If so, Montessori Academy is the school for you. We offer a nurturing and supportive environment to help your child excel academically and socially. Contact us today to learn more about our programs!


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