The age of two is a very important time in your child’s life. Your child is growing physically and their brain and intellectual growth are moving full speed ahead. During this crucial year, it is important to stimulate your child’s brain growth.
Did you know the age of two is a very important time in your child’s life and in the development of their brain? Not only is your child growing physically, but their brain and intellectual growth are moving full speed ahead as well. During this crucial year, it is important that you as a parent stimulate your child’s brain growth. Michigan State University Extension offers the following suggestions to do this:
- Encourage creative play, building and drawing. Provide the time and tools for playful learning.
- Be attentive to your child’s rhythms and moods. Respond to them when they are upset, as well as when they are happy. Be encouraging and supportive, with firm discipline as appropriate but no yelling, hitting or shaking. Provide consistent guidelines and rules.
- Give consistent and warm physical contact (i.e. hugging, skin-to-skin) to establish your child’s sense of security and well-being.
- Talk or sing to your child during dressing, bathing, feeding, playing, walking and driving, using adult talk. Speak slowly and give your child time to respond. Try not to reply with “uh-huh” because your child will recognize when you’re not listening. Instead, expand on your child’s phrases.
- Read to your child every day. Choose books that encourage touching and pointing to objects, and read rhymes, jingles and nursery rhymes.
- If you speak a foreign language, use it at home.
- Limit your child’s television watching and video time. Avoid violent cartoons. Monitor what your child does watch and discuss programs with your child. Don’t use the television as a babysitter.
- Spend time on the floor playing with your child every day.
Participating in the above activities with your two year old will maximize and stimulate their brain growth. For additional information on young children and brain development, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website.