One of the best parts about raising your family is seeing how your children reach different developmental milestones. It could be counting to five or finding all the blue shapes in a toy box or pointing out different flowers on a walk; every child has their own perfect timeline.
These ideas can help you support your child’s growing mind throughout your day while building a stronger family.
Give Them Photography Challenges
Photography challenges are a fun and ever-changing way to encourage your child’s exploration and growing mind. Create a scavenger hunt with an old camera or smartphone, and watch them begin to problem-solve.
Challenges could include a picture of their own shadow, one of your pets, a certain flower, a bicycle, and more. Include books, pieces of furniture, and colors for a rainy day activity that’s both fun and educational.
Play “I Spy” at the Store
This is another challenge we think your children will love. Next time you’re at the store, whether it’s the grocery store, Target, or the mall, play “I Spy”. Depending on their age, it could be for the letters in their name, certain fruits, or for colors. Have them count the number of each item they see, too.
“I Spy” will also help keep your children engaged while you’re shopping, so you’re less likely to have a meltdown while waiting in line to check out. (We’ve been there, mama!)
Read with Them Often
Reading has been shown to support a child’s growing mind starting from infancy. By choosing developmentally-appropriate books, you can move from reading to them, to reading with them, to your kids enjoying books on their own.
This could mean reading with them every evening before bed, or helping them with their homework if they’re in elementary school. (Ideally, both! But make these routines work for your family.)
One of the most important things you can do to encourage a voracious reader is to read yourself. Children mimic their parents, and this is a great habit for everyone to enjoy.
Take a Walk
To encourage your child’s growing mind, take frequent walks throughout your neighborhood and nearby nature centers. Talk about the leaves on the trees, bugs on the sidewalk, and the flowers in gardens. While you’ll want to encourage them to look and not touch other people’s flowers, you can start your own garden to encourage further exploration.
Walking is more than exercise. It’s one of the best ways to help your children learn outside the classroom and away from screens.
Include DHA and Omega-3s in Their Diet
Support your child’s growing mind with a diet rich in DHA and Omega-3s. These fatty acids support brain function, which can support improved focus and information retention. In fact, they make up over 60 percent of our brain! When we don’t eat enough of these essential fatty acids, our body begins making replacement fatty acids that aren’t as beneficial as the real thing.
Foods like high-quality salmon and tuna as well as flaxseed can support brain development, so include this in your children’s diet throughout the week.
Wherever your child’s growth and development lies, these are some of our favorite ways to encourage a growing mind. From photo challenges to walks to diet, you can support your child’s physical and mental growth every day.
For more information on DHA and Omega-3s for your family, click here.