Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Brain-Boosting Activities for Your Preschooler

How activities such as playing, reading, and learning languages stimulate your preschooler's mind.
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

There’s no way to guarantee your preschooler is going to be a little Einstein. But certain activities for kids aged 3 to 5 are more likely to give their brains an early jump start and put them ahead of the game.

Up until age 2, babies’ and toddlers’ brains are growing by leaps and bounds every day. They develop language and motor skills faster than they ever will.

But between 3 to 5 years, that growth slows. Instead the brain is making countless connections within its different regions.

Preschoolers focus more on absorbing the world around them. Their minds are developing problem-solving skills and using language to negotiate. They’re also learning how to coordinate their bodies to do things like aim and kick a ball.

“Kids should be out there exploring and getting ready for their next important job: going to school,” says developmental pediatrician Michele Macias, MD, spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and chairwoman of the AAP's section on developmental and behavioral pediatrics.

One-on-One Time

The No. 1 brain booster for preschoolers is one-on-one time with parents, Macias tells WebMD.

Even though this is a time to learn independence, the parent-child attachment is still there at this age. “The simple exchange of language and ideas is a much more important brain builder than putting your child in a million different activities,” says Macias, a pediatrics professor at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Reading Together

Not only is it a great way to get quality “face time” with your child, reading together is critical to boosting brain power.

Studies show that hitting the books with your preschooler improves early literacy. It helps kids sharpen language and vocabulary, and sparks discussions with the parent that promote a better understanding, says child psychologist Richard Gallagher, PhD.

Books that tell a story and ones that teach counting, ABC’s, sorting and matching, and similar core concepts are perfect for this age, says Gallagher, who is an associate professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at New York University’s Child Study Center.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd