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Activities for Cognitively Delayed Children

by Jaime Vargas-Benitez, studioD

Several activities have been proven to increase cognitive development. Activities such as arts and crafts, music training, board games and some video games are beneficial to cognitive development. The Siskin Children's Institute recommends breaking down activities into simple steps for cognitively delayed children. It recommends that parents and caregivers work as closely as possible with the child to encourage them along the way through any activity. When activities are done alongside caregivers, the benefits to the child increase.

Arts and Crafts

A WebMD article cited the benefit of arts and crafts for cognitive skills, including finger painting and coloring. Depending on the child's age, and the extent of the cognitive delay, a variety of mediums can be used in arts and crafts designed to encourage cognitive development. Children can use modeling clay or, using a nontoxic school glue, attach articles together to create a collage. WebMD.com recommends starting arts and crafts projects for cognitively delayed children around the age of 3.


San Francisco Classical Voice website addresses the connection between music and language development in the brain. The site shares research by Sylvain Moreno, a scientist at the Center for Brain Fitness at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Research Institute, that links music training to brain development. Moreno focused on 48 children between 4 and 6 years old. They were given music training two hours a day for five days a week. At the end of 20 days, 90 percent of the children had increased their verbal skills.

Board Games

ChildDevelopmentGuide.com gives a list of games that parents and caregivers can play with children that increase cognitive development. The child development resource site recommends games such as matching games, building blocks, sewing cards and puzzles as best for cognitive development. They also encourage parents to play with their children in order to increase their bond, and so parents can see what activities best suit their children. These games aid in the development of memory, classifying and concentration.

Video Games

Many parents steer children away from video games, but research proves that moderate video game playing aids cognitive development. Michael Patterson, writer of "Enhancing Cognition with Video Games: A Multiple Game Training Study," found benefits of moderate video gaming on cognitive development. He studied five groups of nongamers whom he instructed to play action, memory and hidden object games for one hour a day, five days a week. The participants increased their cognitive development, especially their attention ability.

About the Author

Jaime Vargas-Benitez has been a parenting writer since 2010. She has worked in the child wellness field in various roles for over 20 years. Along with the experiences of raising her own kids, she has been privileged enough to participate in the raising of hundreds of other children as well.

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