As parents, we wish to give our children the very best of everything. We provide the best educational resources for them to be successful and realize their ambitions, in a loving atmosphere, to teaching them kindness and empathy at home. After all, it is under our influence that they are getting, not only nutrition for their physical but also mental, and emotional needs. So, how can we best aid the development of their minds, through learning to help them realize their full potential?
Learning is part of the realm of skills that corresponds to cognitive ability in human beings. It is the interpretation, processing, and application of information from our environment to our senses.
Our cognitive skills
Specific areas in our brain carry out cognitive functions. According to Brainfacts.org, “the frontal lobe is responsible for initiating and coordinating motor movements; higher cognitive skills, such as problem-solving, thinking, planning, and organizing.” It also forms “many aspects of personality and emotional makeup.” Sensory processes, attention, and language take place in the parietal lobe.
Our cognitive abilities and the skills that are necessary for their development are as follows:
The use of our five senses of touch, taste, smell, vision, and listening in identifying sensory stimuli from our environment.
The sustenance of concentration on our thoughts, actions, or objects, and the ability to manage competing demands in our environment.
Short-term/ working memory (limited storage), and Long-term memory (unlimited storage).
- Motor skills
Ability to mobilize our muscles and bodies and the ability to manipulate objects.
Skills that allow us to translate sounds into words and generate verbal output.
- Visual and spatial processing
Ability to process incoming visual stimuli, to understand spatial relationships between objects, and to visualize images and scenarios.
- Executive functions
These are the skills required to fix and achieve a goal which include:
– Flexibility: the capacity for quickly switching to the appropriate mental mode.
– Theory of mind: insight into other people’s inner worlds, their plans, their likes, and dislikes.
– Anticipation: prediction based on pattern recognition.
– Problem-solving: defining the problem in the right way to then generate solutions and pick the right one.
– Decision making: the ability to make rational decisions based on problem-solving, incomplete information, and emotions (ours and others’).
– Working Memory: the part of memory that functions in real-time.
– Emotional intelligence: the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions for excellent performance.
– Sequencing: the ability to segregate one massive problem into smaller units, and prioritize them in the right order.
– Inhibition: the knowledge that prevents us from giving into other sources that need our attention.
How to make brain games work to your advantage?
When taking up a brain game, set out to reasonably challenge your child’s ability. However, if they get overwhelmed, then it’s not a beneficial exercise.
As there are seven cognitive abilities, target one each day of the week, instead of trying all of them together and causing an overload. Target the specific function you wish to develop one at a time for the best results.
Practice in sessions of 15 minutes. Strong motivation and dedication are required. Involve friends and family for a healthy competition to keep your child motivated.
In order to make the most of brain games make sure that once your child has mastered certain skills, it’s time for them to level up. They have learnt all that they are required to and the brain has automated certain processes for that type of activity, making them faster and more efficient.
Like any other exercise, the brain also needs to rest and at the same time like any other training, consistency is key.
Check out our other blog post here, on 10 brain games that activates thinking ability in children.
The benefits of brain games
According to ScienceDirect.com’s article on cognitive ability, “meta-analytic [analysis of various studies] reviews and primary studies link cognitive ability to job performance in both the United States and European countries” (Ispas et al., 2010; Ones et al, 2012). It has been found that “high cognitive ability individuals are better equipped to acquire the knowledge they needed to perform their jobs at the highest levels. The meta-analytic estimate of the general cognitive ability–overall job performance relationship is [strongly positively correlated] 0.51″.
The importance of developing critical thinking skills, another cognitive skill, is crucial in a world where everything can be searched on Google for millions of results in a span of milliseconds. There is no denying the over consumption of optimised information, also known as infobesity. Not only are we inundated by the sheer quantity of information, we also only receive information with the relevant keywords that may or may not always be of quality. Even on social media, we are inundated continuously and profiled by our interests and likes.
Coding for improved cognition
Since, in this digital age, it’s challenging to keep children away from technology, so why not spark the interest to their advantage by teaching them coding? Why coding? According to this blog, that cited studies in numerous American universities that used MRI scans on students who were coding found that “working with source code uses parts of the brain associated with language processing, memory, attention, and logic.” The blog further states the skills involved by coding, namely, “attention, language, memory, math, logic, and creativity.”
How does coding sharpen the brain?
Like with learning any new language, it improves the memory through practice as the brain gets more and more familiar with the processes. The mind becomes stronger as these processes are ingrained.
According to this blog, “creativity is a trait of highly intelligent people”, offering them different perspectives. The ability to think out-of-the-box, which is a much-needed skill when it comes to coding”.
The blog continues to use the analogy of a computer, in the way different modules operate together to make the whole system function as a joint unit. In the same way, we will be pushed to multi-task and organize information regularly, to join the right bits of code together and make it a seamless functional system. “New knowledge moves to parts of the brain that are related to the storage of accumulated patterns, and then the brain operates this knowledge. The more you receive new experiences, the newer patterns become available for your daily use”. So, enrol your children in WhiteHat Jr.’s coding classes and develop their cognition with coding.
Follow this blog to read six reasons why WhiteHat Jr can make your kids learn to code easily. WhiteHat Jr prepares kids aged between 6-14 for this new world. Kids learn fundamentals of coding–logic, structure, sequence and algorithmic thinking–to generate creative outcomes for example animations and apps. All the coding classes for kids are taught Live 1:1 Online in the comfort of your home by Top 99.9th percentile of certified teachers. With your consent we can also feature their creations on our website gallery. It’s a win-win situation for all, especially giving your child the boost in confidence they require to keep championing through the course of their life.