Play is one of the best tools to encourage learning of the little ones, as well as to stimulate and improve all kinds of cognitive abilities and skills. Through these fun and entertaining activities, we find a way not only to keep children entertained, but also to stimulate their intellect and strengthen bond with them.
In addition, games as a means of stimulating cognitive abilities are one of the best resources in cases of children suffering from a particular kind of physical or psychological condition such as Down syndrome. In these little ones, it is very important to stimulate certain mental functions to encourage their use.
Throughout this article we will present a series of activities for children with Down’s syndrome.
The importance of gambling in Down syndrome
As we mentioned earlier, play is essential at all stages of a child’s development. The reason is that it is not only useful to entertain the little ones and give them a good time, But because they also promote the proper development of personality and cognitive skills.
Through play, all children get to know themselves and everything around them, including others. They acquire all kinds of knowledge about their bodies and the functioning of objects, instruments and utensils.
As a rule, children with no particular health or psychological condition have the ability to learn to play on their own, although doing so with an adult strengthens the ability to interact with others as well as the bonds of union between them. However, this is not the case for children with Down’s syndrome.
In these cases, the small they usually don’t show this initiative when starting the gameThe collaboration and support of another person is therefore recommended. Due to the physical and psychological characteristics of this syndrome, the child may have difficulty learning to play.
As a result, the time and effort invested in improving the game is essential to fostering all kinds of cognitive skills; from personal autonomy to language, attention and psychomotor skills.
During the first months of life, it is advisable to start the play routines without needing to use toys. In this way, through the gestures, expressions and words of the adult, we promote the development of the capacity for representation and symbolization.
Children with Down syndrome need a special play dynamic that emphasizes these gestures and oral language, so that through imitation, they can learn to perform the appropriate gestures and movements. Finally, when introducing games with objects and materials, the adult should guide the child to teach him how to use these tools correctly.
Recommended activities according to age
As with the rest of the children, each stage in the life of a child with Down’s syndrome is characterized by the acquisition and development of a number of skills, It is therefore recommended that the games be adapted to these periods of childhood.
1. Children from 1 to 2 years old
For children with Down’s syndrome, it is recommended to offer these games.
- While standing, place toys or flashy objects that motivate them to move.
- Walk holding hands, placing colorful balls to shoot them.
- Construction of towers and manipulation games.
- Creative games with paints or waxes adapted to your age.
- Games of grouping colors, animals or objects.
- Read children’s stories with illustrations and drawings. Ask the child for the pictures.
- Have the child use speech and words to ask for things.
2. Children from 2 to 3 years old
In this category of boys and girls, the type of activities offered is as follows.
- Mobility games and coordination with balls.
- Manipulative games such as creating figures with plasticine.
- Listen to and name the ambient sounds.
- Guessing games.
Activities according to cognitive domain
From the age of 3, children with Down’s syndrome already have the language and motor skills necessary to carry out a large number of activities with them. From this age, it is recommended to perform games that improve each cognitive ability.
Below, we present a series of activities classified according to the cognitive domain that they aim to stimulate in children with Down’s syndrome.
1. Stimulation of psychomotor skills
Games that improve the development of gross and fine motor skills help strengthen the muscles of the hands and limbs, which is the basis for the development of their own independence.
1.1. Pass the ball through the ring
The game consists of placing a series of balls and hoops of different sizes so that the child can grab them and go to basket each ball in the corresponding hoop. You can also try to make the balls and hoops of the same color so that the child also has to guess which ball goes in each place.
1.2. Guess the shape
This exercise is very useful for improving fine motor skills as well as memory and attention. To do this, we provide the child with a sheet with a series of dotted lines that you must join by tapping with an awl.
The child should punctuate the outline of the drawing, trying not to come out. We can then ask the child what form or what object of treatment.
2. Stimulation of language
Like the ability to move around independently, improving language skills is essential in children with Down syndrome when it comes to gaining more independence.
2.1. Theater and show activities
In order to work both on language and memory fluency and on interaction with other people, we can stage small performances or theaters in which the child has to recite small lines or sentences. They can also be asked to read aloud excerpts from texts by making gestures.
These stories can show scenes from everyday life, as this will also give the child the ability to improvise.
3. Stimulation of attention and memory
Encourage care for children with Down’s syndrome this will encourage their interaction with the environment and improve other skills such as memory and language.
These are activities in which an adult reads or tells a story that is interesting or enjoyable for the child. The goal is then to ask him or to ask him to tell us his side of the story in order to encourage the attention and the processes of memory and search for information.
3.2. Match the cards face down
In this activity we will have a set of cards whose designs can be matched. The cards are placed face down in front of the child and we ask him to match the cards.
Cards can only be lifted one at a time, so the child will need to remember where each of the designs are so you can match them.
4. Stimulation of autonomy
Throughout the child’s life, he will be confronted with a large number of situations in which the fact of enjoying a great deal of autonomy will allow you to be independent and be able to perform all kinds of activities and interactions on his own.
4.1. We play shopping
Games and performances that involve simulating activities of daily living such as any purchase will allow the child to learn to interact in these situations, as well as give him autonomy in carrying out operations with parts and tickets, and manage their own money.
We can do this by playing in stores or markets, using banknotes and coins that the child can make or using toys such as children’s cash registers.