How to Raise Intelligent Children

By eHow Parenting Editor

Part of raising kids includes helping them reach their full potential. Research shows that certain activities and experience can enhance a child's level of intelligence - helping he or she to reach that full potential.

Consider music lessons. It's been found that after at least 9 months of routine training in piano or voice, children's IQ levels raise several points. The benefits come from the fact that musical lessons exercise parts of the brain useful in mathematics, spatial intelligence and other intellectual assets.

Talk to your kids from the time they're very young. Communication is key, but research shows that talkative parents create smarter children.

Expose your children to the arts. Through instrumental music, opera, dance, theater and visual arts, children learn skills relevant to reading, writing, math and science. In addition to providing enrichment, the kids gain essential academic skills.

Encourage your kids to be active. Studies by University of Illinois researchers show a strong relationship between fitness scores and academic achievement among grade school children. Steer kids away from televisions and video games after school, urging them to get outside and play. Suggest they get involved in sports or another physical activity through school.

Watch what they eat. Cutting out sugar, trans fats and other junk food from your child's diet and instead feeding them high-nutrient foods can enhance early childhood mental and motor development-especially in the first two years of life.

Read with your kids and help them learn to read. Reading teaches sounds, vocabulary, the alphabet and other communication skills. Aim to read at least one book to your child each day, starting in infancy as early as they can focus and pay attention to the activity.