How to Foster Cognitive Development For An Introvert Child?
Created by Nitin Updated on Sep 28, 2019
In a recent conversation with a friend, she shared that her 8-year-old is doing very well and how she’s enjoying witness him grow each day. She shared that her son is an introvert and prefers keeping to his circle of few, and is happily reading a book for hours by himself. She shared that he plays sports, and plays both, individual as well as Team sports. In our discussion, I could see some great opportunities for the parent here to foster her child’s cognitive development. And just when I was about to ask her, she herself asked, “so, how does one foster cognitive development for an 8-year-old introvert?”. [Live Chat - Nutrition to Foster Your Child's Cognitive Development]
This was an interesting opportunity for me to put together something really focused for a friend’s son. I was really excited. I am sharing the handy approach and 4 key activities to foster cognitive development for 6-10 year-olds introvert child.
What is Cognitive Development
Cognitive Development is about how a child processes information and makes decisions. It includes remembering, problem-solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. It affects how we make decisions throughout our life. It becomes core to who we are and how we make decisions throughout our life. Imagine the importance of something which shapes our decision making for life!
What to find-out Before Charting-out Focused Activities
Start by answering these questions :
- What are my child’s interest areas? Is my child interested in reading or music or sports or sketching or anything else?
- What are some of the cognitive development activities, which go well with my child’s interests?
- How do I add variety in a way that my child does a good mix of linguistics as well as quantitatively focused activities?
- How do I continue being on the same path for more than a few months by creating more such activities?
- Validate this with an Expert you trust. You could also write to me in the comment section below, and I shall try and validate the choice of your activity.
Activities to Foster Cognitive Development in Child
So, here are 4 activities which I shared for an 8-year-old, slightly introverted child, interested in reading and sports.
1. Play-writer & Director
Keeping the child’s reading interest in mind, I chose this activity to take it to the next level. Get your child to select one of their favorite stories and turn it into a play; alternatively, they could even write a short story of their own first. Working with siblings or friends, or even alone, help (help, no direction at all, at best you can ask them questions- that tests their decision-making skills) them create scenery and costumes. Once your child has practiced, let him/her perform to both of your parents, family, friends, close ones. If your child’s shy, he may not necessarily like a large pool of folks, so keep it compact. This one activity will encourage teamwork, decision making in a team environment, creativity, imagination, storytelling ability, and confidence in making a decision.
2. Mix & Match - Sport and Science
If your child plays a sport, try this mix and match between a sport and science. This is more like a developmental challenge with cross-over areas. For example, Mix and Match with gross motor activities and physics. In this activity, your child will mix badminton with experiments on the water in its three states (gas, liquid and solid) or it could be mixing with the Prism and spectrum (understanding how light bends with a refractive index on a prism). First, give your child a bag of ice cubes. Let him observe how the ice cubes feel and how they retain their shape. Then, have him put the ice on the side and play a short game/sport he likes. By the time you get back to the experiment, the ice would have melted. Let him explore the water and see how it changes its shape when transferred to different containers. Leave the water outside overnight, so your child can observe the effects of evaporation. You can try a similar experiment with condensation. Play and Science, when mixed together, stimulate a child’s grasp of new concepts. It does take some preparation, but it's great for the child.
You can also play the marble game. In this game, you start with a lot of marbles on a round disc with holes. All holes are filled baring the center one. Your goal is to be left with one by the end of it by jumping a marble over the next closest marble. You can play this marble game in your cooling time when taking a break from the sport. So when your child is done with a sport/game, s/he could cool off with this mind game.
3. Music & Rhythm
For this, your child need not be a great dancer. It’s OK, even if your child likes music. Get a dancing Mat, you will get some of these easily online. They are a lot of fun. You play your child’s favorite music and then s/he needs to move as per the cues. This is not only a great rhythm game, but also tests and builds for quick decision making. I would strongly recommend either a dance mat or an interactive mat. It can be something which the whole family can also indulge in and enjoy.
It is a top draw activity and you could get your child age-appropriate sudoku. You may try the 8-12 years version available online as well. Another shorter/smarter way is to print them yourself from some online sudoku resource sites.
You could also use sudoku sheets for the cooling time with the sport your child plays. [Also Read - Tips to Foster Early Years of Child Development]
Do try some of these activities as per your child’s areas of interest, and let me know how it was. One new activity once in 15/21 days is a good idea to keep your child interested with the variety, but by the 3rd,4th month, your child will start enjoying this and it will foster your child’s cognitive development progressively.
Let me know if you have any queries or ideas in the comment section.
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