Stimulation by Playing for Children’s Development
Oleh: Morinaga Platinum
Fetus’ brain cells begin to form since the pregnancy reaches the age of 3-4 months. After babies were born until the age of 3 years old, the brain cells increase rapidly to billions of cells. These cells will then continue to grow by forming synapses (connections between nerve cells). The more synapses are formed, the faster and more effective the brain works.
How can more synapses be formed? It is by providing the children with adequate and quality stimulation. The stimulation provided should also be adjusted according to their age.
As children receive more varied stimulations, the more complex the connection between nerve cells will be. As they receive stimulations more frequently and regularly, the stronger the connection will be. And as more complex and stronger the connection between nerve cells, children’s intelligence will be higher and multiplied as well in the future. If this is developed continuously, children will have multiple intelligences.
Playing is an important activity during childhood. Since “learning” like adults is not possible yet at this age, children can learn by playing. By playing, children receive good stimulations for their development. They can recognize movements, sounds, smells, objects, shapes, colors, and touches.
Many studies have shown that children who receive good stimulations have better motor skills, cognitive, and confidence. They also tend to be more successful at school compared to those who receive less stimulation. In fact, children with the same genetic will have different performance if they are raised with different stimulation.
Games according to children’s age stage
Moms could do a simple yet fun game with the children, as it is not only beneficial to the children’s development, but also can strengthen the relationship between Moms and the children.
For babies aged 0-6 months, Moms could do a simple game like making sounds (by clapping and snapping fingers). Moms could also give them toys with sounds or colorful toys. You could also put a music box on top of their bed.
Singing while clapping and doing various facial expressions is a fun activity for both Moms and the children. Moms could get them to dance with you by holding them in your arms and dancing to the rhythm.
When the children reach the age of 6-12 months, Moms could stimulate their development by playing ‘peek-a-boo’ with them. Getting them to look at the mirror can also be an alternative, as generally children begin to recognize themselves and are interested to observe themselves on the mirror.
Moms could also get used to read some bedtime stories before bed to the children. Choose a book with interesting and colorful pictures to catch their interest.
For children aged above 1 year old, Moms could get them to play simple blocks arranging or puzzles games. These games will help the children’s development by honing their ability to think and solve problems. You could also stimulate their imagination by doing role play, such as taking the role as a seller and buyer, as their favorite cartoon character, and so on.