Activities That Promote Cognitive Development for Preschoolers

Your Child’s Cognitive Development Can Benefit From Including Music Therapy in Their Lives

As a child heads off to preschool for the first time, (usually at age four or five) they may experience some confusion or frustration with this massive change in their routine. Preschool can be a time of rapid cognitive developments and changes. Every day a child goes to preschool, they are gaining massive amounts of new information, not only in relation to school but also socially. 

Preschool can be a scary step for kids at first. They may miss the routine they were used to before going to school. Other children may be really happy to socialize with more kids their own age if that is not normal for them at home. All in all, going into preschool signals a lot of changes for a young kid. Music therapy can help them to manage those transitions and be more comfortable in their new social setting.

Anything you need to know about music therapy in preschooler’s cognitive development can be found here:

  • Physical activities that promote cognitive development for preschoolers 
  • Mental activities that promote cognitive development for preschoolers 
  • How can music specifically help your preschooler meet their cognitive development milestones?
Kid cutting something out from a piece of paper sitting at a small wood table
Not only can music help children feel more open to listening but it can help them gain more confidence with how they communicate too.

Physical activities that promote cognitive development for preschoolers 

Different physical activities can have  positive effects on a child’s development such as spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills. Children need some aspects of physical play, considering the levels of energy they have. These physical activities will not only help kids expend some energy, but can promote their cognitive development as well. 

This may seem counterintuitive, but let your child play with (safe) everyday household items. Not only do they see these items every day and probably wonder what they are, but this also means you don’t have to buy as many overpriced toys. By letting your child play with household items , they get to learn more about the objects around them and how they function. Children at this age are very curious and letting them investigate their surroundings is a great way to boost their cognitive development. 

Let your preschooler play with any paints, pencils, markers, or other art supplies that you have access to. Giving your child the tools for a creative activity lets them express emotions they may not be ready to communicate through words. This can help them gain self-confidence and make them feel more comfortable expressing their emotions in the future. 

Woman playing the Ukulele in bed and a child playing around on the bed too
Music can help preschool-age kids to develop connections with people around them and feel more confident with their social development. 

Mental activities that promote cognitive development for preschoolers 

Simple card games or board games are great for kids at this age because it is activating both their mental and physical growth.  A puzzle, for example, forces a child to think logically. They are learning on a visual level and are improving their spatial/physical awareness by figuring out which puzzle pieces interlock and which don’t. An activity like a puzzle or a game are great because they help your child to develop their ability to memorize. 

Ask your child a lot of questions. Give them options. Children at this age are just learning how to do these things themselves and offering that curiosity in return encourages them to keep wanting to learn more about the world and the people around them. By asking your child questions, you are also helping them get used to making their own decisions, which is something that will help them down the road. 

One child writing on a piece of paper while another kid watches
Music can be a great way to get kids engaged and limit distractions, with music therapy they can have fun and learn something at the same time! 

How can music therapy specifically help your preschooler meet their cognitive development milestones?

Singalongs are often the first things that come to mind when we think of music in preschools. Singalong activities are great because they help children to memorize lines and what words come next. Singalongs also help young kids who are still learning to talk. This increases the child's engagement, even when attention spans tend to be pretty short. 

Music can be one of the most impressive tools in helping kids to accelerate their cognitive development. When you engage with music, so many different parts of the brain are stimulated, so engaging with music at a young age can trigger developmental growth in an incredibly positive way. Not only does this help your child’s mind and mental health, but it improves their physical comfort and general health as well. Because music combines so many senses, (hearing, touch, and sight) including musical elements can help them to be more present during different experiences. 

If music therapy is offered in your child's learning environment, consider the many benefits. It will help your child to meet cognitive developmental milestones and provide a safe and encouraging environment for them. There are many resources available online to further investigate this topic, and see if it is the right fit for your child.

Edited by Cara Jernigan on January 15, 2021

Lily Taggart
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