Brain game- an Occupational therapy and cognitive development activity

A video blog by Pinki Kumar on Brain game- an Occupational therapy and cognitive development activity.

Author Pinki Kumar

Pinki is a special educator, play therapist and a mother of a neurodivergent kid. She has a YouTube channel Play and learn to teach different methods and strategies. These videos are a great resource for the parents to help their child learn various skills.



Hi today’s blog is quite insightful and detailed to understand how to better your child’s whole body and mind development

In order to be a part of an accurate personality development of your child , you don’t have to dig very deep into the pediatric world but have a fair idea about how the child develops in different domains like socially , physically , cognitively , orally , how they use big muscles , small muscles , how they play and do game

Lets go ahead and talk in more details

Every child is having a pace of developing when they come to life . Please remember don’t mistake one’s holistic development and growth as a competition . Every child gains weight differently from other child even during an infant stage. Parents should be patient and mindful of learning about milestones. There is no rule that all children in this world should say the syllable baba when it comes to language milestone

I would suggest read books , researches , published articles on child development to aware yourself with variations that can take place and are pretty normal

Every child’s development are dependent on many factors – genes , environment , diet , social environment , family history , birth history etc

Now lets shift our focus on what milestones to look forward to and explore more f you have a growing child or plan for one

Gross motor milestones – these are the skills that are age appropriate where the child is mainly suing the big muscles of body like should , calfes , thighs , back , abdominals for e/g playing with ball , kick a ball , swimming , running fast , changing direction while running etc

Fine motor milestones – these are the skills where child is learning to use and manipulate small muscles of body like fingers , hands for e.g holding a toys , shaking a toy , holding a crayon , doing puzzles , gripping a glass , etc

Self help milestone – these are age appropriate maneuvers of maintaining and managing oneself like eating , dressing , combing , toileting , etc

Cognitive milestone- these are skills that help a child to motor plan , comprehend , attend to a task , remember and retention of things , be oriented to place time and situation , executive functions , problem solve , ready to learn , focus and attend etc

Language milestones– focus on speech , oral skills , comprehension , body language , forming worsds and then sentences , spellings , memory related to language skills , communicating non verbally , story narration and telling , communicating needs , request , suggestions , comments , protests yes or no , I don’t know etc

Social milestone – these are placing importance on skills on socialisation and interaction like starting conversation , turn taking , negotiating , advocating , listening and attending , taking criticism , making friendships , keeping emotions in check

Creative Expression milestone – starting to draw shapes , figures , lines , explore with different drawing and painting tools , folding and manipulating paper to make crafts

Other milestones would be advanced play behavior , self regulation , emotional intelligence

Well we must keep in mind that right from a neonate to an adolescent , there a number of skills are developed that help in our survival and every person connected with childhood development should seek awareness and knowledge about these.

Once you have an intent to be aware about milestones you will be able to trace out at what pace the child is lagging or progressing and you can direct your parenting style accordingly

It is also important to be clear that children can have learning difference about these milestones that is they can have delay , they can be emergent but if we project proper therapies and enthusiasm , the milestones can be achieved fully or partially

Always remember it could be a delay but not completely absent , if a milestone chart says that swimming can occur till 5 years , your child might be lagging and so could achieve it by 8 years

You need to get in touch with good professional who help and guide and give you an outlook to respect your child’s growing capacity

So now your question would be where can you find these developmental milestones charts . Also note you can find charts for body weight , height , chest circumference and head circumference but don’t get blinded that you underestimate your child’s growth all the time if they don’t meet the criteria

This is harsh but my dear nobody criticizes you if you sugar and cholesterol levels are not within normal and you have diabetes. What you say .. this is part of life

So lets see where can you get these charts to understand your child’s development




Well CDC is your go to thing

See the link below to gain the insight

CDC’s Milestone Tracker App | CDC

I hope you felt I was talking sense about the growth and development of the children of our world

Also you as parent should be equally aware so that you can raise better concerns with your child’s therapist or pediatrician

Don’t be google smart but CDC smart


Creative Effort and Pediatric Physiotherapist – Heena Sahi

Artwork by Nikhil Thotam

Creative representation for this blog on milestones is done by supertalented CreativeSaathi associate Nikhil Thotam


Attention activities: Play and learn by Pinki Kumar

A video blog by Pinki Kumar on teaching attention building activities. These are the whiteboard activities that can be done at home or at school.

Author Pinki Kumar

Pinki is a special educator, play therapist and a mother of a neurodivergent kid. She has a YouTube channel Play and learn to teach different methods and strategies. These videos are a great resource for the parents to help their child learn various skills.


Brain development games: Play and learn by Pinki Kumar

A video blog by Pinki Kumar on brain development games and activities.

Author Pinki Kumar

Pinki is a special educator, play therapist and a mother of a neurodivergent kid. She has a YouTube channel Play and learn to teach different methods and strategies. These videos are a great resource for the parents to help their child learn various skills.


Let’s be Curious …5 W’s & 1 H Series – 1 “What” & “Where” Question.

Mummy, what is this? Mum. How did this happen? Dad when will my plant grow? Dad, why do we always see stars only at night?

Questions, questions and more questions, curiosity is what led man to all the discoveries and great inventions. The constant questioning mind of mankind and some pestering “Wh” questions and hey! the deepest mysteries were unravelled.
“Wh” questions or 5 W’s, “What”, “Who, Where, When & Why and 1 H, How, are the ways a child or man initiates questions to satisfy his curiosity. These when a child uses shows an inquisitive mind, one that is initiating conversations and taking stock of the world around him, inferencing probable reasons looking at a situation and problem solving.

But where does this all begin. How to bring the child to use these questions? how to make the child initiate?

To use language the child should have a rich source of vocabulary to retrieve and use. A sentence typically consists of nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives.
See how many of these your child knows? Otherwise make a list of these and start teaching him.

When we start with the nouns generally, we start with the “What” questions. Remember here the thumb rule, visuals, visuals & more visuals. Don’t let the child get lost in figuring out what was asked. A child with language delay cannot immediately create a visual image, for example when I use the word, elephant you can immediately visualise it, a child with inherent processing delays even if he knows the word elephant may not visualise it and that’s one reason there is a lack of to & fro communication. When someone asks you a direction, you can visualise the whole route in your mind. This is motor planning albeit in your head. This is a herculean task for children with language delays so one has to start with the prerequisites, i.e., vocabulary.

So, the simple solution to this is to use a lot of visuals to teach these. Show a picture of an apple and ask, what is this? Provide answer if the child is not able to answer the question. One way we teach a child to answer the questions correctly is by modelling technique. If the child’s mother is sitting in the session, I ask the Mom first, “mama what is this ? and once she answers , “apple”. I immediately ask the child the same question and eight out of ten times the child gets it.

While teaching verbs, show a picture of running and ask “what is the boy doing?”. Even if the child answers in one word, appreciate and reinforce the child. Always verbalise your actions, to add to the vocabulary of the child. Like if you are cutting vegetables, say “mama is cutting vegetables”, or “mama is combing”. Then only the child will be able to answer the question, “what is mama doing?”

Remember most of the children fail to communicate because they do not realise the importance of using words and then end up getting frustrated and have behaviour issues as they get older. Continuously praising the child even for his slightest efforts makes the child discover the magic of words.

Ask a variety of “what questions, “what colour is the ball?” “What is the shape of the table?”. If the child is not able to answer give options., “Is the ball green or blue?”
Initially make sure you are using objects, toys, big flashcards so as to avoid distractions and get the full attention of the child.

Prepositions are where we introduce the “where” questions …use toy table, chairs, boxes etc and make him place things (small animals, cars anything the child loves) on, in under, between, in front of etc. It’s best to introduce this as a table top activity at first so that the child is fully focussed and all the items are at the line of sight of the child.
Initially just work on the receptive language of the child asking the child to simply place the objects as you instruct, e.g. cat on the chair, or ball in the basket. Once the child is confident in it, start with the “where” questions, “where is the cat?” Or “where is the ball?”. If the child is unable to answer initially, provide the answer.

Once the child is proficient on table top make the child place things across the room. This teaches another important skill, “staying on task”. Which basically means when given instructions and a wider area to move, does the child remember the instruction and stays on task or does he wander off. This is an essential skill to be mastered by each one of us to finish our tasks successfully.

Make all this as interesting and fun for the children. The amount of small toy furniture, cute small animals, small sensory bean bags, etc I have, made these sessions a fun journey they hardly realise they are working with me.
“What” & “where” questions can be used with adjectives too. As stated, earlier colour, shape & size are the adjectives a child uses at first, they are easy, concrete or tangible. So, “What colour is mango?”, or “what is the shape of the wall clock?”. “What size do you want- small or big?”

Unless a child doesn’t have these basic parts of speech, he doesn’t have anything to say much in his personal dictionary. Moreover, he will not move towards initiation and will be stuck at need based communication.
“What” questions for older kids is also used for reasoning & inferencing, i.e., looking at a situation asking “what happened here?”, but for this sort of inferencing a child has to cover a lot of prerequisites in language. I will be discussing that once we cover our basic “wh” questions.

Another way to develop curiosity, and to go on a rollercoaster ride of “wh” questions and develop natural language is through play. Please use kitchen set, doll house, doctor set to encourage a lot of free play. Use lots of dramatizations like, the puppy is hurt so “what does it need? (a bandage) “or “Why is dolly so happy?” (Because it’s her birthday, we are going to cut a cake and have a party). “Where is the boat?” (Under the bridge)
In play the fun element is phenomenal and sky is the limit to imagine a play scenario. Most important in play all learning is incidental we deliberately don’t try to teach a child here. We let the child enjoy the process of play. So, make sure while playing you are not teaching anything by insisting say this or repeat that. You just verbalise each other’s actions and the questions are asked naturally in the flow of conversation (it’s dolly’s birthday party, “what would you like to have?”)

Picture description is also an excellent way to practice “wh” questions. This I will take as a separate topic.
So, let’s awaken the child in us, be bubbly and funny while approaching your kids. Start with the “what” & “where” questions to start the first step towards language development. Use lots of materials around the house to create a world where he can create visual image and cut down on processing the word. Remember “a picture is worth a thousand words”

So… let’s get curious!!!

Author Simmi Vasu

Artwork by Dhrov Tikoo and Morpheus Nag

Creative representation for this blog is done by supertalented CreativeSaathi associates Dhrov Tikoo and Morpheus Nag.