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Brain-Boosting Activities for Your Preschooler

How activities such as playing, reading, and learning languages stimulate your preschooler's mind.

Kids' Classes

Sports classes are great for providing some structure, creating a social setting, and building important motor skills and balance. Similarly, music and art courses can improve a preschooler’s artistic or musical intelligence. However, there’s no strong evidence that taking these classes will turn Junior into a super-genius, Gallagher says.

As for those programs that claim to raise your child’s IQ or have him reading by age 3: Very few studies support those claims, Macias says. “Sure, your preschooler might be reading words, but there’s no proof they translate into comprehension. The brain has to be mature enough for it,” Macias says. She suggests that reading books together is just as good at priming a young mind for active reading.

Keep It Light, Loose, and Fun

Remember the value of unstructured (free) play. Be involved in their playtime. But don’t try to control too much of it or they can lose some of its benefits -- especially in developing creativity, leadership, and group skills.

It’s important not to overload kids with too many activities or classes. “It could backfire, cause them to get tired or frustrated,” Macias says.

Whatever activities you choose, make sure it’s fun for your child. Go easy on the pressure. And above all, just let your kid enjoy the sheer pleasure of being a kid.

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Reviewed on October 07, 2010

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