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Cognitive development

Your daily activities help cognitive development both consciously and unconsciously. Whether children use logic to sort, classify, or create patterns, or creativity and language to acquire new knowledge, I hope to help you diversify your activities by breaking down this aspect of development. Here is a list of its components which includes clear and simple examples.

  • Sorting: the ability to divide and group objects according to precise criteria. Color, size, and shape are common criteria.

  • Classification: the ability to create groups or families with sub-categories. For example, classifying toys could mean dividing them into two groups, indoor toys and outdoor toys. Food can be classified according to the four food groups.

  • Creating series: the ability to create logical series. For example, objects can be placed in ascending or descending order, stories can be recreated, etc.

  • Creativity: the capacity to imagine. Inventing stories and finding solutions are great examples.

  • Acquisition of new knowledge: learning to count, recognizing colours, etc.

Here are activity suggestions and the material required to develop this sphere:

 

ACTIVITIES FAVOURING COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

  • Rhymes
  • Telling stories and asking questions afterwards
  • Constantly speaking to babies. Describing your every move.
  • Initiate interaction by imitating babies' sounds
  • Play explorer. Reproduce familiar sounds such as animals.
  • Invent stories with children
  • Visit the library
  • Refer to books to answer children's specific questions about a subject
  • Memory game
  • Find rhyming words
  • Invite a guest to speak about his/her profession

MATERIAL FAVOURING COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

  • Poster
  • Photo album
  • Tape recorder
  • Surprise box
  • Calendar
  • Audio cassettes or CD's
  • Puzzles
  • Chalk
  • Pencils and crayons of all kinds
  • Clock
  • Picture book
  • Musical instruments
  • Construction or building games
  • Dominoes
  • Board games
  • Manipulation games (Mr. Potato Head, lacing, etc.)
  • Sound games
  • Plastic, felt, or cardboard letters
  • Books
  • Typewriter or computer keyboard
  • Puppets
  • Material to create patterns
  • Objects which fit into each other
  • Craft material
  • Recycled material (toilet paper roll, Kleenex boxes, etc.)
  • Scientific material
  • Computer science material (CD-Roms, Internet, etc.)
  • Objects which can be used to pour and transfer from one container to another
  • Computer
  • Modeling dough
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pictures
  • Magazines and catalogues
  • Chalkboard
  • Telephone (real or pretend)

PSYCHOMOTOR DEVELOPMENT

My goal is not to give you an exhaustive course about this sphere of development but I hope to give you tools to better understand it. I feel this can be helpful for planning your activities and give you ideas. To begin, here is a breakdown of psychomotor development:

  • Sensorial and perceptive organization: the five senses. Touch, taste, smell, hearing, and seeing.
  • Global motor skills: posture, non-locomotor movement (throwing a ball), locomotor movement (running and jumping).
  • Fine motor skills: activities which solicit small muscles in the hands (drawing, lacing, buttoning, etc.)
  • Prehension: capacity to seize objects with our hands.
  • Lateralization: involves the two sides of the body (left and right).
  • Temporal and spatial organization: capacity to orient oneself in space and in time (near and far, present and future).
  • Dissociation: moving only one part of the body at a time with a great deal of control (only your index finger for example).
  • Coordination: a series of movements a child is able to perform (ride a bicycle, pedal, and hold the handlebars).
  • Muscle tone: capacity to contract and relax muscles.
  • Balance: hold a stable position for a few seconds.

Once again, here are two lists which can be very useful.

 

ACTIVITIES FAVOURING PSYCHOMOTOR DEVELOPMENT

  • Obstacle courses
  • Ball games (rolling and throwing)
  • Playground
  • Different types of races (backwards, with obstacles, relay, etc.)
  • Dancing
  • Imitating animals
  • Walking on hiking trails or pedestrian paths
  • Building blocks
  • Crafts
  • Naming body parts
  • Tag
  • Stop and start games (statue, musical chairs, Simon says, etc.)
  • Exploration games (hide different objects in sand, mud, Jell-O, etc.)
  • Hide and seek
  • Hopscotch
  • Treasure hunt

MATERIAL FAVOURING PSYCHOMOTOR DEVELOPMENT

  • Water table
  • Sandbox
  • Balls
  • Jumping ball
  • Blocks (different sizes)
  • Various sizes of cardboard boxes
  • Trucks
  • Hoola hoops
  • Jumping ropes
  • Large vehicles which can be pushed, pulled, or rode upon
  • Pull toys
  • Water or sand toys (shovel, bucket, moulds, etc.)
  • Stacking toys
  • Lacing toys
  • Mirror
  • Different sizes of containers with screw-on covers
  • Parachute
  • Small cars
  • Bowling game
  • Bubble solution and wand
  • Psychomotor structure for climbing (ladder, slide, etc.)
  • Tunnel
  • Scissors
  • Modeling dough
  • Finger painting
  • Crayons, chalk

 

Thank you to Geneviève Beaudet for her precious collaboration for this text.

 

 

 

Educatall team


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