Mother and adorable toddler drawing together in nursery room

15 Ways to Give Your Child’s Brain Development a Boost

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

As parents, we all aim to give our kids the best start in life, which includes finding ways to boost their brainpower. The first few years of a child’s life are crucial for brain development and preparing them for future learning, behavior, and health. Research says 90% of a child’s brain develops before they even blow out the candles on their fifth birthday cake.

But how can you make the most of this critical period? The good news is there are tons of activities that can improve your child’s brain development. These activities help them build strong neural connections, enhance their cognitive skills, and set them up for success in the future. 

Remember, every kid is unique, but they are all born with amazing potential. It’s our role to help them tap into it. Here are 15 effective ways to give your child’s brain development a boost. 

1. Prenatal Care

Happy pregnant eating healthy food
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

A child’s brain development begins long before birth. During pregnancy, your health choices and environment play a huge role in the baby’s development. Taking your prenatal vitamins and eating a diet rich in folic acid, iron, and calcium is essential for neural development. 

Moreover, regular prenatal check-ups, staying active, and avoiding things like alcohol and tobacco ensure your baby has the best start in life. Also, meditation or yoga for managing stress will help increase your unborn child’s cognitive health.

2. Breastfeed Your Baby, if Possible

breastfeeding mom
Photo Credit:

Breastfeeding plays a key role in supporting your child’s brain development. Breastmilk contains essential fatty acids like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are important for cognitive health. 

Studies suggest breastfeeding can lead to better cognitive outcomes, including higher IQ levels later in life. However, it’s understood that breastfeeding may not be feasible for everyone due to personal and medical reasons. If you can, it’s highly recommended. And if it’s not possible, talk to your doctor about other ways to keep your little one’s brain growing strong. 

3. Read to Your Child Every Day

Mother and shocked daughter read book
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Reading to your child early on brings many benefits. It exposes them to the language, boosts their vocab, and sparks their imagination. It’s proven that kids who are read to regularly have sharper cognitive and language skills and are likelier to become avid readers. 

Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your little ones and helps them fall in love with books for life. All you need is some time, a little motivation, and some books.

4. Address Your Child’s Needs

Little girl eating peanut butter sandwich
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Responding to your child’s needs, especially in their early years, is essential for their brain growth. When you soothe a crying baby or fulfill their needs for food and attention, you are helping their brain grow healthily in an environment that feels secure for them to develop. 

It creates brain pathways that are the building blocks for their future learning and emotional health. Plus, it shows kids they can trust their world and the people, which is key for their overall growth. 

5. Play Music

Mother and toddler baby boy, playing piano
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Playing tunes and participating in musical activities do wonders for your kid’s brain growth. A study reveals that just a few playful music sessions can boost the way 9-month-old babies process music and new speech sounds. It means that engaging in music at an early age significantly impacts cognitive skills. So, sing songs, play instruments, and dance with your kid.

6. Limit Screen Time

Mother and daughter using phone
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Excessive screen time affects language development, shortens attention spans, and makes it tough for your little one to handle their emotions properly.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises “no screen time” for kids under 18 months. They say it’s best to skip the screen time altogether, except maybe for some video chats, to help their brains and bodies grow better. For the older kids, the Academy suggests choosing good-quality shows and co-watching, making screen time more interactive and fun.

Also, make room for hands-on, interactive play. This kind of play boosts creativity, problem-solving, physical coordination, and social skills. Cutting down on screen time and opting for active playtimes can really make a difference in a child’s brain development

7. Engage in Conversations

Mother and baby on changing table
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Start talking with your child early on, even before they can speak. Respond to their babble as if they’re talking in full sentences. Ask questions and encourage any way they express themselves. Talk to them like you would any friend or family member, not just in baby talk.

This helps them build language skills and understand social and emotional cues. It also helps your child communicate better and strengthens your bond, which is important for their brain and overall development. 

8. Promote Healthy Sleep Habits

Mother watching her baby sleeping in a crib
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Ensure your kids hit the hay at a regular time and get enough sleep for their age (as best you can). Sleep is a time when our brains work efficiently on collecting memories, making it crucial for learning and processing new information. 

But that’s not all, while your little one is dreaming away, the brain works on making new connections and promotes the growth of new brain cells, improving cognitive development and function. Plus, adequate sleep also helps reduce crankiness in babies. 

9. Play Board Games

Family playing chess
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Playing board games is a great way to have fun while learning new things. The best part is that they enhance cognitive abilities in players of all ages. They challenge kids to solve problems, make smart choices, and boost their memory while playing.

We suggest picking games that everyone in the family can play to spend quality time together and create a fun learning atmosphere. Great games for little ones include memory, Go Fish, Candy Land, and Chutes and Ladders.

Ultimately, playing these games sharpens critical thinking and helps your kids improve their social skills, making them awesome for brain development.

10. Model Mindfulness Techniques

mom and girl meditating
Photo Credit:

Practicing easy mindfulness activities like deep breathing or paying attention to our senses – what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is amazing for a kid’s brain development. 

These practices are key in increasing a child’s focus and attention span. Plus, they help kids regulate their emotions better, allowing them to handle their feelings and reactions more effectively. They also boost overall brain function, improving cognitive processes like memory, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. 

11. Encourage Physical Activity

mom running with girls in woods
Photo Credit:

Physical activity is crucial for the physical well-being as well as cognitive development of your child. Engaging in movement increases blood flow to the brain, which promotes new brain cell growth, enhancing cognitive functions. 

Encourage your child to participate in activities such as crawling, walking, running, and climbing to support their brain development (aka, lots of play time). These activities help in improving their motor skills, coordination, and even in the development of problem-solving skills.

12. Feed Your Child Superfoods

Little girl picking and eating blueberries on farm
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

What your child eats can impact their brain development. Adding super foods packed with essential nutrients is essential for cognitive function and overall health.

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, chia seeds, and walnuts, are miracle foods for brain health. And don’t forget about leafy greens like spinach, kale, and blueberries. They’re full of antioxidants that keep the brain safe from oxidative stress. Whole grains and lean proteins are also key for better brain function, giving the energy and materials needed for brain cells to repair and grow. 

13. Teach Emotional Intelligence

African american mom and child looking at each other while reading book
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Help your kid get a grip on their feelings for growing their emotional smarts. Talk about emotions, read books explaining different feelings, and show them how to deal with emotions in simple ways.

Emotional intelligence helps students succeed in school, as well as helps them understand their own emotions, solve problems like pros, and get along better with friends.

14. Do Arts and Crafts

Little girl painting with her mother
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Getting your child involved in activities like drawing, painting, or any kind of art is more than just keeping them busy. You’re helping them build key skills they’ll use all their lives. Diving into art sharpens fine motor skills.

It also improves their visual-spatial skills so they can better understand how objects relate to each other in space. Plus, art is a surefire way for kids to express themselves. They can express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas without having to use words. Art also boosts their confidence and gives them a sense of achievement.

15. Play Peek a Boo

Little girl playing with wooden toys
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

We’ve never seen a baby who doesn’t enjoy Peek-a-boo. But it does more than just provide fun. It teaches babies object permanence, which means things still exist even when they can’t see them, which is important for learning about the world. 

It also helps with memory and building trust. Plus, it’s good for social skills because it includes surprise, waiting, and happiness. Playing peek-a-boo helps babies learn how to interact and understand cause and effect.

20 Strong Words Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

sad child black and white
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Countless adults sitting in a therapist’s office today are grappling with the lasting impact of words spoken by their parents during childhood. Regardless of how you perceive yourself, in your child’s eyes, you are nothing short of the most remarkable thing to happen to them since “skip intro.” This underscores the critical importance of being mindful of what you say to your children, as your words become the small but influential voice in their developing minds.

20 Strong Words Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

30 Ridiculous Baby Names That Will Be Mispronounced for the Rest of a Child’s Life

Top view of surprised shocked baby looking at camera while lying in bed
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Choosing a name for a newborn is a weighty responsibility for new parents, as it wields a profound influence on a child’s identity. Yet, what unfolds when the selected name emerges as undeniably cringe-worthy? Some parents go to great lengths to deviate from tradition, occasionally venturing into the domain of bewilderment, which leaves others puzzled and scratching their heads.

30 Ridiculous Baby Names That Will Be Mispronounced for the Rest of a Child’s Life


Author: Aqsa Salam

Title: Writer, Pharmacist

Expertise: Motherhood, Health, Lifestyle

Aqsa is a devoted mom to two boys and a skilled pharmacist specializing in hematology.  But that's not all - she's also a passionate writer who loves spending her free time jotting down her thoughts. When she's not running after her energetic kids, you can find her lost in a good book or writing beautiful words.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *