Child Development Activities and Games

Young children are natural learners who enjoy hands-on activities, playing and exploration. Simple, creative and fun activities and games, such as the ones below, allow children to develop their minds and bodies.

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What Types of Activities Can Help with Child Development?

Young children are curious about the world they live in. Games and activities that are stimulating and interactive will help with your child's cognitive, physical and social development. Playing with toys or going outside with your child, among other activities, can easily turn into games that will allow him or her to learn and develop skills while spending quality time with you and having fun.

Games for Building Social, Cognitive and Motor Skills

Red and Green Light

This activity helps your young child build his listening and attention skills, which are the building blocks of speech and language development. Go outdoors to a large area and stand at one end, with your child standing at the opposite end. Explain to your child that when you say 'green light,' that means to run, 'yellow light' means walk and 'red light' means stop. Your child must listen carefully; his goal is to reach you at the other end. This game also helps develop your child's gross motor skills, and can improve his balance and large muscle development.

Building Blocks

Building with blocks has many developmental benefits and is great for any age. Toddlers can touch, feel and grab a block, which helps with their small muscle development and hand-eye coordination. As your child gets older, she can start to build with blocks, which helps expand her imagination. Building with blocks also teaches children social skills as they learn to take turns, share and cooperate with each other.

Encourage your child to use adjectives to describe the sizes and shapes of the blocks, which will help with his speech and language development. You can also improve your child's math skills by asking him to count, sort or do mathematical problems using the blocks.

Pretend Play

You and your child can dress up with fun clothes, reenact stories or act out real-life scenarios, such as playing a doctor. These are great ways to expand your child's creativity and imagination. Pretend play has many developmental benefits. First, it expands her language skills by introducing her to vocabulary words that she may not be normally use in her daily life. Second, it allows her to problem solve and think abstractly in situations she would not ordinarily experience. Finally, your young child can develop social skills by understanding someone else's perspective, sharing ideas and playing with others.

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