6 Surprising Ways to Boost Your Child’s IQ

by Meiling Wong
12 months ago

how to increase a child's iq

Is your child gifted? Take an IQ test to find out. Even if he is not, there are things parents can do to increase a child’s IQ.

IQ or Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a measurement of your intelligence. You can see how you score against the rest of the population. The average score on an IQ test is 100 with 95% of the population scoring between 70 and 130. Any scores above 130 means that you have a bright child (130 – 144) or moderately gifted (145 – 159) one.

If your child has high energy levels and intense curiosity, intense alertness and achieved their developmental milestones (like walking or talking) earlier than their peers, you might have a gifted child. The optimum time to take an IQ test is between five and eight years old. 

The question, does innate ability (genius) trumps the 10,000-hour rule (deliberate practice) was answered in a fascinating article by Tom Clynes. In the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), 5,000 mathematically gifted students were tracked through their education and subsequent careers. These students were recruited through summer enrichment programs at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere and include celebrities like Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, and Lady Gaga. 

Camilla Benbow of Vanderbilt University who conducted a research on high performing young people cautions that “focusing on genius can lead to all sorts of social and emotional problems.” She adds that “setting out to raise a genius is the last thing we’d advise any parent to do.” 

The good news is that all of us have a certain degree of intelligence. The better news is that intelligence can be cultivated with brain development and learning

Read also: 8 Books That Help Children Believe in Themselves

Increase your child’s IQ with brain development and learning

If you are keen to see your child become a member of the esteemed Mensa programme or be selected into our local school’s Gifted Education Programme (GEP), here are some things you can do to increase your child’s IQ.

1. Read with your child to improve their verbal and linguistic intelligence

A new study published in the journal Child Development finds that having strong reading skills as a child is a predictor for higher intelligence levels as a young adult. In previous studies, reading ability has been associated with improved health, education, socioeconomic status and creativity. Thus, when reading to your kids, call attention to the words to build their reading skills.

2. Real learning is active

Increase your child’s IQ by playing with them or exposing them to new or diverse experiences. Travel or visit museums, gardens or interesting places so your child can absorb new learnings from these visits. 

Do not just plop in front of the TV and play baby DVDs and videos. They might actually make your baby dumber. Improve their spatial intelligence by playing blocks, and their fluid intelligence with math games.

3. Feed them foods that increases their IQ.

Foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids (like salmon and cod), walnuts, almonds and flex seeds are the best foods that can increase your child’s IQ

Researchers from a study conducted by the University of London concluded that children growing up on freshly cooked meals have better IQ than kids growing up on fast food. Vegetables like carrots, beetroots, coconuts and leafy vegetables are also important in keeping the brain active. They are rich sources of Vitamin A, B, C, calcium and potassium.

4. Exercise with your kids

Being physically fit increases your ability to learn. According to Sr. John Ratey’s Spark, after exercise, your child can pick up new vocabulary words 20% faster, and experience 30% increase in memory and learning. 

Aerobic exercise stimulates brain growth and enhances our ability to learn. Studies also suggest that exercise helps kids focus attention in school. But there’s a catch: To reap the full benefits, exercise must be voluntary.

5. Invest in music lessons for your child or play musical instruments

Not only does this help to increase a child’s IQ, research shows that music lessons make kids smarter. Compared with children in the control groups, those in the music groups exhibited greater increases in full-scale IQ.

6. Play with your kids

Studies show that pretend play or free play encourages the development of language, spatial intelligence, counterfactual reasoning, and mathematical skills. Allow regular pockets of free play in your child’s day as it promotes better learning, memory, and growth of the cerebral cortex. 

Read also: “Is My Primary School Child Reading Enough”? – Top Tips to Raise a Reader

Do you have a gifted child? Share with us what else do you do to improve their IQ.