Want help your toddler learn? Give toddler brain boosters through play, laughter, and time outdoors.
Not enough parents know that play best grows a toddler’s brain. Toddler brain boosters require your little one to participate in activities, not just watch. When a toddler moves, uses several senses, or tries things out in various ways, her brain creates connections.
Research shows the brain works harder during play than while observing. The brain also needs trial and error and a lot of repetition in fun and interesting ways. All of this is provided through play.
Toddler brain boosters, that is active play, also provide the opportunity to learn to get along with other people. When children play with parents or other children, they learn a lot about how relationships work. This social interaction through play allows children to develop skills to better control constantly changing emotions.
Two Keys to Toddler Brain Boosters: Laughter and The Outdoors
Playing with others often brings laughter. Laughter is wonderful for the brain. Look at this list of the benefits of laughter in play:
- Play and laughter activates the caring and thinking areas of the brain.
- Laughing lightens mood through reducing the level of stress hormones affecting the brain.
- It provides a physical and emotional release.
- Laughter can also lead to creating closer connections with other people.
- Laughter is also contagious so we can share this beneficial brain activity with others when we are laughing.
If play takes place outdoors there are even more advantages. Natural environments have a very positive effect on the brain. Unstructured time in a natural setting provides invaluable opportunities for learning that workbooks, flashcards, or electronic devices can never offer.
Keep in mind that outdoor, physical play additionally provides many benefits to the brain. It first of all, it simply increases the amount of oxygen to the brain. Remember to stay active during cooler, shorter days as well.
Research also indicates that safe rough and tumble play can positively influence the activity in the thinking part of the brain.
Brain development isn’t complicated. Toddlers, and all children, simply need adults to understand that the brain learns best through positive, safe, and fun interactive experiences. Adult brains benefit also …. so, get outdoors, have fun, play, and laugh together!
This article was written by Deborah McNelis, M.S. Ed. As an Early Brain Development Specialist and owner of Brain Insights, Deborah is the award winning author of, The Brain Development Series and Naturally Developing Young Brains. Her goal through this work is for everyone to gain an understanding of early brain development, it’s impact, and the ways we can all easily make a difference.
For further information visit: www.braininsightsonline.com
This article was edited for readability by Sixty Second Parent Editor, Anne Oxenreider, MA, M.Ed.