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7 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Brain Sharp

Does your child spend too much time attached to electronics? Is he/she sometimes in a fog? Mighty Mommy has 7 expert tips to engage your child and help keep their brain sharp.

By
Cheryl Butler,
Episode #194

Tip#5: Learn a New Hobby

Find an age-appropriate interest for your child that he or she hasn’t tried before. It could be building a model airplane, learning to paint a still life, taking a pottery class, or the trend that’s currently surging in popularity, teaching kids to knit and crochet.  When the brain is learning new skills, it is also staying sharp.

Tip#6: Play Memory Games   

There’s nothing like a good memory game to help keep your kids focused. My younger kids love it when I put about 8 items in a box, let them see the box contents for about 45 seconds, and then take it away. Next they have to name all the items that were in the box. It’s super simple yet extremely effective—and even better when a few kids are involved because it creates a bit of competition.  

Another great memory game is Concentration. Grab a deck of 52 playing cards and spread them out face down. Match up pairs by memorizing the location of each card. This game is also fun for younger kids, who enjoy cards with their favorite cartoon characters like Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob. If you visit Funbrain.com, you’ll find lots of interesting memory games to play online.

Tip#7: Puzzles and Construction Projects   

Crossword puzzles, word searches, and the popular game of Sudoku are great ways to exercise the brain. Kids needn’t spend hours doing them, either. Spending 15 minutes a day is perfect. Another wonderful way to get those brains thinking is by allowing them creative play time with construction items like Legos, wooden blocks, building card houses, constructing sand castles, and playing with big foam blocks. My pediatrician is a strong advocate for blocks because of how versatile they are for every age group. Infants and toddlers enjoy simply touching and gripping the blocks. Two-year-olds may demonstrate their first attempts at building structures and show the early signs of imaginative play. Around the age of 3, children learn how to fit pieces together and build more complex structures. Four-year-olds begin to recognize designs and patterns and their structures become works of art. And soon after, school age children learn to recreate structures they see in everyday life like the police station or their school.

Helping your child keep his brain sharp doesn’t have to be daunting. If you add a few of these fun activities into your children’s regular routine, you’ll be helping them stay focused and on top of their game for years to come.

Check back next week for more Mighty Mommy tips. If you have a question or a suggestion for a future Mighty Mommy episode, please e-mail me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.   

Check out the Mighty Mommy Facebook page where I share lots of quick parenting tips all week long.    You can also follow me on Twitter @MightyMommy or join me on Pinterest.com where you can visit all of my family-friendly boards.

Have fun helping your child to exercise his brain and until next time—Happy Parenting!

Photo courtesy of Microsoft clip art.

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