how to raise smart kids

How to Raise Smart Kids? Play Games!

Raising smart, well-rounded kids is no easy feat – it requires a dedicated effort on the part of parents. Fortunately, there are simple strategies you can use and small changes you can make that will have big impacts when it comes to helping your kids little brains develop.

If you’re wondering how to raise smart kids, you’ve come to the right spot. In this blog post, we’ll explore my favorite game to play when we’re out and about. I’ve also included some other fun games that help with brain development. Read on for useful tips and instructions so that you can give your children the best start possible!

This post may contain affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy click here.

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here for my full disclosure policy. 


5 Baby Activities to Stimulate Your New Born

Places to go with a 1 Year Old – Indoor & Outdoor Activities

How to Raise Smart Kids #babyactivities

What is Cognitive Development?


Cognitive development is the construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood.”Source: Health of Children

Said another way, cognitive development is Intelligence.

Babies begin learning from birth.  

They are watching, listening and physically trying new things.  So while they might not understand, they sure are soaking it all up! As parents, this is where we can help shape our child’s development.  Take an active role in their development!

How to raise smart kids #babyactivity

How to Raise Smart Kids – Play I Spy!

Turn a mundane trip to the grocery store into a brain boosting blast!

A group of Neuroscientists at the Children’s National Health System published a study that determined that playing a version of “˜I spy’ in the grocery store boosts early brain connections and will help your baby develop a stronger brain.

The new study suggests that infants who are allowed to interact with stimulating, brightly colored surroundings (like the grocery store) have far stronger brains than their peers. Another great place to play this game is the aquarium!

You can even start playing this before they are speaking or babbling!

Neuroscientists in this study also highly discouraged speaking “baby talk” to your baby.

Instead, walk through the grocery store and pick up a banana, show it to your baby and say “this is a yellow banana”. Point out the vegetables you’re adding to your cart, “Look at the Green Broccoli” while holding the broccoli up.

We do the same around the house, essentially narrating our day-to-day lives while holding my baby. This same idea can be used anywhere and everywhere to boost baby development.

By doing this, you are helping them “connect the dots” between language and environment early in life – this gives their brain’s neural network a strong foundation to maximize their brain power into adulthood.

Grocery Store - Places to go with a 1 Year Old

Related: 5 Activities to Stimulate Your Newborn

Grocery Store Cart Tip

Place your baby in the cart seat as usual, pending they are old enough to support their head, but turn the cart around so they are at the front and looking out. This is another great way to keep your little one engaged while browsing the isles.

While I don’t have the peer-reviewed study, I’m sure this could be filed under the How to raise smart kids tab!

Other Grocery Store Games?

Don’t let being a busy mom take away from raising smart kids!

Fitting in games and developmental activities while doing the weekly shopping makes it much more fun (and productive) when we add these simple and fun kids games that aid in baby devleopment.

Sing a song 

My sister in law shared this one with me.


Going to the supermarket,

Shopping for food,

I have a great big belly and

I’m in the mood for ______

Fill in the blank and pick up the food and show it to the baby at the same time.

Music is so great for babies and singing will help get their attention.  The same neuroscientists above also recommend music as a way to grow a baby’s brain.

Smell the Roses

I have recommended an at-home version of this previously, but you can also do this baby activity at the grocery store also.

Stop in the flower department and point out the different colors, flower variety and let your baby smell the flowers.

Bring a bouquet home and let them enjoy all week.

Review the Flyer

Before you even leave for the store go through the flyers and point out the different items.

Flyers can be so colorful and full of pictures. Make sure you use descriptive words again “We need to buy yellow bananas” while you point at the image.

Bonus Ideas:

  • Stop by the lobster tank if your store has one and let them watch them move around
  • Play with temperature – let them touch cool food vs room temperature
  • Grab a balloon and tie it to the stroller or shopping cart and let your baby watch it bounce around or let them play with it while you are on a longer trip

Recreate a Grocery Store at Home

There are lots of brightly colored toys that help recreate the grocery store experience.  You can go all out and buy a pretend store (this is really for toddlers plus), but some simple pretend fruit can also be used to play I-spy at home.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Grocery Store and Lemonade Stand

Melissa & Doug Play-Time Produce Fruit (9 pcs) and Vegetables (7 pcs) Realistic Play Food

Little Tikes Shopping Cart – Yellow/Red


Games can be a fun and easy answer to the question of how to raise smart kids! It’s important to remember that every baby is unique, so finding the right games for your little one may take some trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try out different activities – like singing, I-spy, or even peek-a-boo! – until you find something your baby enjoys.

Even if a similar game doesn’t have the same effect on each kid, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. Your baby is likely to benefit from any type of playful activity. So experiment with different activities and find the ones that provide lasting joy and entertainment for your child!

5 Baby Activities to Stimulate Your New Born

Places to go with a 1 Year Old – Indoor & Outdoor Activities

How do parents raise smart kids?

While every child is different and there is no guarentee, simply being there and engaging with them in a fun and loving way is sure to help! Help your baby understand the world around them by playing games like I-Spy or singing along as you walk through the grocery store.

Can a child’s IQ be increased?

Absolutely! Your babies are giant sponges just soaking up all the world around them. Help keep them engaged and exploring the world and these little interactions will add up to create curious and smart kids!