The first ten years of a child's life as the "window of opportunity", at this time is critical to improving the "wiring" of a person's brain. Quoted from businessinsider.com, here are 7 ways to make your kids smarter:
1. Engage in music-making
Studies show that learning music makes kids smarter. On average, music students perform better on standardized tests and have higher overall GPAs. In one experiment, it was found that taking piano lessons even helped raised IQ significantly.
2. Eat a good breakfast
A child's brain needs a proper balance of nutrients such as glucose, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B, zinc, and folic acid. Kids who eat breakfast have better memory and longer attention spans. Whole grain cereals and oatmeal have been found to be a better start to the day than sugary cereals like Cap'n Crunch. With toddlers, breastfeeding has been shown to improve health and intelligence.
3. Limit television time
Of course, too much of anything can still be bad thing. Kids still need time away from the TV to develop social skills and do homework. For toddlers and infants, it has been found that TV has no educational benefits for kids under 2.
4. Unstructured play time should be mandatory
Unstructured playtime has always been an important part of "being a kid," but it is also crucial to a child's development. Hovering and over-parenting is linked with psychological problems. "Free play" not only helps kids develop cognitive and social skills, it also helps them develop into happy, healthy adults in the future.
5. Reading with your kids
Reading has long been known as a way to improve children's intelligence. Kids who are read to frequently develop earlier writing and number skills as well. For parents who don't have as much time, just surrounding your kids with books goes a long way too.
6. Praise good effort, not intelligence
Your kids may be smart, but you should focus your praise on the effort they put into succeeding at tasks. Kids who are praised on intelligence often feel it is a fixed trait, and mistakes or failures severely hurt their self-confidence. Kids who are praised on effort often focus more on learning, and are not afraid of a challenge, or to fail and try again.
7. Learn a second language
Early studies in this field have preliminarily shown that bilingual kids can focus better under pressure and focus better on relevant information. Research is being done still, but many argue that the peak of language learning ability ends before puberty. It has been shown that young children can learn new languages with nearly perfect fluency and pronunciation.