4 Play techniques to boost your child's intellectual ability

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1. Grab his attention

To maximise your child’s ability to focus, make sure he is calm and alert.

If he is tired, tearful or overexcited, you need to help him find the balance. If he is genuinely tired let him sleep first. If he is bouncing off the walls from overstimulation, allow him time out.

If he is simply sluggish and needs a little kick start or is overexcited and needs to settle his mind, put on some rhythmic music and encourage him to move with you in an organised manner, such as rocking back and forth or swaying from side to side.

Open legs wide and hang down like a rag doll for 10 seconds. Come up and stretch tall as a giraffe’ neck. Repeat. These movements stimulate the motion sensors and help to calm most children.

2. Location is important

It’s essential to ensure he is comfortable and in a position he can maintain. If he is a child who tires easily, don’t expect him to stand if the activity requires his focused attention. Let him sit so his brain is not drawn to assisting his posture and can give it’s all to the task at hand.

3. Take off your watch

When a child is required to think they do so best if they aren’t pressured with a time frame. If you rush your child, you won’t get the best out of him in an intellectually challenging task; you’ll get the first thought that pops into his head.

Consider this a learning journey. How many activities you put him through is not the focus. If he achieves one independent spontaneous thought in your play session, that is a victory.

4. Play it again

You will get full use and value out of the toys you select in the intellectual arena. Repetition is key here. Your child will love learning to predict what happens next in the story book and which piece of the puzzle goes where.

Each time he plays, he builds a better mind map of what he is learning. It may feel like the same old thing to you, but to him his mind is moving into new territory, each time.

How do you play with your child to help them overcome learning difficulties? Send your stories and comments to chatback@parent24.com and we may publish it. Please tell us if you'd like to remain anonymous.

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