Early stimulation means the set of actions and exercises that aim to help develop the child’s abilities, whether motor, cognitive or social.
Since you’re a mother, you’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of early stimulation. But do you know what is it, what is it for and all the benefits of it? Well, to answer all these questions, we are going to talk about the importance of stimulating your baby from day one, as well as giving you the clues and even some examples of exercises according to the age of the baby.
Early stimulation means the set of actions and exercises that aim to help develop the child’s abilities, whether motor, cognitive or social. In other words, the aim is to offer children different situations that allow them to explore and thus awaken skills and naturally develop abilities.
According to experts, these techniques are most effective when there are more neural connections. This happens, precisely, from 0 to 6 years. This is why it is important to start infant stimulation as soon as possible.
Logically, the exercises and activities must be adapted to the child’s age. Each activity must be adjusted to the child’s level of development.
Understanding this, let’s see what early stimulation should consist of according to the age of the child:
Up to 12 months
During the first year of life, the exercises must be aimed at enhancing the five senses… But how?
The sense of smell can be stimulated by passing soft and different smells through the nose; for the hearing, a whisper at bedtime, talk to the baby while he or she eats or let the baby pick up the sounds.
The luminous and mobile objects are an exceptional way to stimulate the vision and the coordination eye-hand because the reaction of the small will naturally catch it.
And when it comes to tactile skills, there is nothing better than cuddles and hugs. But it can also be very useful to rub your baby’s feet, tickle them and give toys of different textures… In addition to stimulation, the little one will have a wonderful time.
From 12 to 18 months
As the child grows and matures, he needs more complex exercises that allow him to progress.
In this sense, from the year onwards, it is a good time to introduce music and stories into their world. As far as possible, the baby will repeat the lyrics and with them, will improve the speech.
From 12 to 18 months
At this stage, there are two big changes: your baby starts walking and talking. So now it is time to intensify the stimulation sessions. To help improve the child’s movements, use the games that involve moving around or taking his or her arms and making them walk.
As for the language, talk to your baby, getting his attention to your mouth. But also ask questions so that they begin to express themselves.
From 2 to 6 years old
At this point, the fundamental thing is to achieve correct socialization. From the age of 3, the child begins school and that is why the stimulation must be aimed at developing the child’s social skills. To achieve this, encourage games in groups and take your child to the park to interact with other children.
To strengthen family ties, organize family reunions where your child participates and expresses his/her opinion…Also, organize family activities that allow your baby to live new experiences and enjoy a playful environment surrounded by kindness.
Regardless of the age of a child, certain characteristics should always be a part of early stimulation sessions:
- Stimulation cannot be an obligation for an infant, so it should not be forced at any time. It is a fun time to learn and discover the world around you. It is best to understand the stimulation sessions as a game so that the child is more responsive.
- Each exercise must be done at the right time and order. This should not be about overstimulation.
- The child should not be forced to do stimulating exercises. If the child does not feel like it, or the game does not seem fun, you should stop immediately.
- The aim of early stimulation is not to create a gifted child, but to improve skills that will be essential in the future.
- Not all children follow the same rhythm, each one needs a different amount of time. The best thing is not to compare him with other children, because the only thing that you will achieve is to overwhelm yourself and that the small one suffers problems of self-esteem.