Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The human brain is most flexible during the early stages of life. During this period, which is often referred to as the ‘golden age’, children’s brains can most easily absorb all the information around them.
Therefore, if you want to have intelligent children, many experts advise parents to really stimulate their children in the early stages of growth. This is because the emotional intelligence, social skills and cognitive-linguistic capacities that emerge in the early years are important factors that can influence success at school and in the workplace in the future.
According to experts, it turns out there are activities that can support children’s intelligence, from reading to exercising.
Neuroscientists at the University of Eastern Finland spent two years studying 504 children between the ages of 6 and 9, in a recently published peer-reviewed study. Children who spent more time reading and were active on sports teams developed better thinking skills than those who focused on other activities, from unsupervised computers to unstructured free play, researchers found.
Photo: Children’s illustration. (Doc. Pexel)
The study also found that the best results were obtained by children who were active in sports, liked to read and ate healthy food.
“Improved diet quality and increased exercise and reading were associated with improved cognitive ability,” the neuroscientists wrote.
One of the important findings of this research is that structured physical activity, such as exercise, can improve children’s brain skills. These findings build on previous research, which shows a clear link between increased physical activity and improved brain function, including memory and learning ability.
According to the National Institutes of Health, children who play sports often have higher self-confidence and lower levels of anxiety and depression than their peers. In particular, team sports promote improved mental health by combining physical activity with social connection.
Play video games and read books
Meanwhile, the findings of a study at Cambridge University in early 2023 found that reading as a hobby was associated with better mental health, creativity and thinking skills in children.
Children who read more often score higher on cognitive tests than children who replace their reading time with cellphone or computer use, according to previous research conducted by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
However, playing video games on a cellphone or computer screen is not always bad. Video games offer several benefits for children’s development, improving memory, spatial awareness and — if played in a group — social skills, says the American Psychological Association.
Harvard Expert Reveals 5 Tips for Raising Smart Children