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Stimulate Your Child's Mind for Success

Children are naturally inquisitive. Some of them question absolutely everything, but an inquisitive nature should be nourished and encouraged. A parent's effort to stimulate a child's mind when they're young can lay a positive foundation for all learning. An active mind allows for a better experience throughout a child's educational path and is a key component of a happy and healthy life. Activities that encourage a child to learn are essential to early brain growth and development.

How the Baby Brain Develops

A baby's brain develops connections that form the basis for all future learning, memory and communication. As these connections are made the brain grows and every experience creates more connections using all of the senses. Neurons are the nerve cells in the brain that are connected by synapses and more connections allow the brain do more. The first four years from conception to a child's third birthday are considered the most critical in early development. Maria Montessori referred to these early years as the "Absorbent Mind," famous for her work in child development and education.

With the deluge of digital media including computers, hand-held games, cell phones, text messaging, and an unimaginable array of new devices in the future, it's important to stimulate a child's mind in more traditional ways such as reading, writing and art.

Activities That Stimulate Early Brain Growth and Development

· Reading - Parents are essential to developing a child's ability to read. Reading to your child will build their vocabulary, stimulate their imagination and lay the foundation for learning. If your child has been pre-school books for a while, try stepping them up to a chapter book. Let them choose the book and you'll be surprised at how fast they get into the material. It should be easy finding a book they'll be interested in with so much great children's literature available today. These are books written specifically for the new generation of children immersed in our technology filled world. They are infused with magical and creative stories of places that exist in the imagination. Obviously you should review any book that your child chooses, as even the most popular children's books may not be suitable for your child's age.

· Writing - Encourage your child to write their own stories. Whether they are fictional or based on factual events, items, or places, it will serve to expand their vocabulary and ability to communicate their ideas. Sit with your child and write a story. You write one sentence and then your child writes one, and so on and so on. Collaborating on a story is a great way to spend quality time with your child while learning and you may discover more about their impressions of the world. It's also a great way to develop a broad vocabulary that is useful throughout their education.

· Mind Games - Play games with your child that challenges them to think. Solving mazes, puzzles and riddles require critical thinking in addition to learning games and toys that teach. These activities build mental skills and enhance a child's ability to learn. The Internet has many sites dedicated to educational games that are found by using any of the popular search engines such as Google. Encourage their interest in learning and problem solving by offering a reward. It can be anything that's a fun, exciting treat from choosing their favorite snack to a colorful incentive chart to follow their progress.

· Art - Get a large pad of paper and a selection of crayons, paint, colored pencils or any colorful media. Set up a space that allows them creative expression and the freedom to make a big mess. Use old sheets as drop cloths to protect floors and furniture if you can't go outdoors. Nature is a great source of inspiration, full of things to draw and materials that are ideal for creative mixed media projects. Autumn leaves can be used as stencils or attached with white glue as a decorative border or cleverly placed in a holiday scene. Provide your child with the materials to develop their creative potential and the possibilities are endless.

· Exercise - Physical activity is important for a child's health and combined with educational activities is a great way to make learning fun. There are many things to explore just outside your door that are a chance to teach your child what you know or discover new things together. Go for a walk and make a list of things to look up in an online encyclopedia to share the learning experience with your child. Sports are great exercise and great for developing physical and social skills. Encourage your child with lots of positive feedback and allow them to choose the sport or activity that interests them.

· Music - Playing and listening to music is not only fun but a wonderful way to stimulate memory and dexterity. There are many instruments designed for children that take into account age considerations and physical limitations. The selection ranges from simple wooden toys to elaborate electronic devices that are sure to capture a child's attention. Early exposure to music is the foundation for a lifetime of musical interest and a well-rounded educational background that includes music, art and academics.

Stimulating your child's mind in a positive, creative environment is essential for early brain growth and development. There's a world of interesting, fun, and exciting possibilities to explore. Making a thoughtful effort during their early years will help your child navigate all of life's challenges.

Baby Best Buy is an earth friendly, baby and mom focused web retailer for cloth diapers, baby bedding and all the great baby stuff you need to care for your little ones since 1997. For more information, visit:www.babybestbuy.com

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