Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to boost your IQ levels? Well, as it turns out, it may be possible to increase your intelligence with the right kind of intellectual training.

Research suggests that there are various ways to develop some of the most crucial skills related to human intelligence.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the activities that can boost your IQ, as well as some of the ways to improve the IQ of your baby during pregnancy.

IQ, which is short for intelligence quotient, is a measure of someone’s intellectual intelligence and potential. This measurement was popularized in the 1900s by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet.

IQ is measured using standardized testing that’s administered by licensed psychologists and, in some cases, those with graduate level mental health training. Common standardized IQ tests include:

  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V)
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Adults (WAIS)
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale

Despite how popular online IQ tests and apps are, they can’t accurately measure your IQ in the same way that a psychologist-administered IQ test can.

And while IQ levels are one way to measure intelligence, they’re not the only measure. Instead, IQ testing can be used as the first step in diagnosing other mental health conditions and learning disabilities.

There are two categories of human intelligence: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence is associated with abstract reasoning, while crystallized intelligence is associated with intellectual skill development.

According to the National Library of Medicine, these types of intelligence can be influenced by a variety of genetic and environmental factors, including:

  • parental IQ
  • genes
  • home life
  • parenting style
  • nutrition
  • education

Here are some activities you can do to improve various areas of your intelligence, from reasoning and planning to problem-solving and more.

1. Memory activities

Memory activities can help to improve not only memory, but also reasoning and language skills. In fact, memory games have been used in research studies to explore how memory relates to language and object knowledge.

Reasoning and language are both used as intelligence measures, meaning that memory activities can continue to develop intelligence.

Activities that involve memory training include:

  • jigsaw puzzles
  • crossword puzzles
  • concentration card game, or card matching
  • sudoku

2. Executive control activities

Executive control is the ability to control complex cognitive activities. It’s a part of executive function, which also includes executive management and regulation. Research suggests that executive function is strongly tied to fluid reasoning, one aspect of human intelligence.

Activities that involve executive control training include:

  • Scrabble
  • Pictionary
  • red light, green light
  • brainteasers

3. Visuospatial reasoning activities

Visuospatial reasoning involves the mental processes related to physical representations.

In one study, researchers found that improving visuospatial reasoning led to an increase in IQ test scores. In that study, memory and executive control activities were used in part to help improve participants’ visuospatial reasoning.

Activities that involve visual and spatial training include:

  • mazes
  • point-of-view activities
  • 3-D models
  • unfolded prisms

Online IQ games and tests

Many of the games and activities listed above can be played online as well. There are also online IQ games that contain activities that work many of the areas of the brain mentioned above.

While these IQ games and tests can’t accurately measure someone’s IQ, they can still be a great way to develop your intelligence.

4. Relational skills

Relational Frame Theory relates to the development of human cognition and language through relational associations. Research from 2011 has shown that using Relational Frame Theory as an intervention can significantly improve IQ scores in children.

A more recent study using this intervention also found improvements in IQ, verbal reasoning, and numeric reasoning.

Activities that involve relational training include:

  • language learning books (“this is a…” and “that is a…”)
  • object comparisons (full cup versus empty cup)
  • amount comparisons (penny versus dime)

5. Musical instruments

You don’t have to become the next famous musician to benefit from learning a musical instrument. One study found that musicians have better working memory than non-musicians.

Given the important role memory plays in intelligence, it may benefit your IQ to finally pick up that musical instrument you’ve always wanted to learn.

6. New languages

Would you be surprised to know that more than half of the world’s population is bilingual? It should come as no surprise that learning multiple languages is beneficial to the human brain — and the earlier, the better.

A recent study investigated the relationship between early language learning and IQ. The results indicated that language learning through talk and interaction from 18 to 24 months was most beneficial for cognitive outcomes later in life.

7. Frequent reading

There’s no denying how beneficial books are in human cognitive development. In fact, the benefits on development are even more pronounced when books become part of parental bonding activities.

In one recent study, researchers discovered that when parents read aloud to their children, the child had greater language and cognitive development skills.

8. Continued education

Education, in any form, is crucial to the development of human intelligence.

In a review of studies on IQ and education, over 600,000 participants were studied to determine the effect of education on IQ levels. The researchers found that for every additional year of formal education, participants experienced a boost of one to five IQ points.

Although there are quite a few activities you can enjoy each day that may help raise your IQ score, the following myths aren’t included in those suggestions:

  • taking multivitamins
  • listening to music
  • training for an IQ test

Generally, these kinds of activities do very little to help develop the skills necessary to improve your intelligence. To truly improve your IQ score, you should focus on activities that teach your brain skills related to fluid and crystallized intelligence.

Birth weight may play a role in one’s intelligence.

In a large cohort study, researchers assessed the intelligence of over 4,500 participants at ages 19, 28, and 50. They found that intelligence increased with categorical birth weight, but actually declined when the birth weight was in the highest category.

It may not be just the birth weight of the baby that affects intelligence levels either. In another cohort study from 2014, researchers found that maternal body mass index (BMI) levels were inversely associated with the child’s IQ. This suggests another strong link between IQ levels and genetics.

Another study, which was published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, further expands on how both genetics and environment can affect a child’s IQ.

In this study, the researchers found that maternal IQ was associated with child IQ in all types of pregnancies. This association may be due to both genetics and parental upbringing.

So, what do these studies suggest about improving the IQ of your baby? Although BMI is an outdated measure of health status, a nutritious diet and frequent exercise can help improve the overall health of both mom and baby.

In addition, some nutrients, such as DHA and folate, are important for brain development in the womb. These nutrient needs can be met through a healthy diet and supplementation.

Finally, as your child grows, participating in a variety of interactive activities together can help the development of their brain and intelligence.

Although science is on the fence about whether you can raise your IQ or not, research does seem to suggest that it’s possible to raise your intelligence through certain brain-training activities.

Training your memory, executive control, and visuospatial reasoning can help to boost your intelligence levels. The best way to train these areas of your brain is to engage in thoughtful activities and games, learn new skills, and keep your brain active.