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The following activities call upon cognitive processes including perception, learning, memory, language and thinking. Cognitive development may seem complex, but from birth, children acquire simple abilities that will make it possible for them to grow and become more and more independent. Let's try to make sense of the different stages of cognitive development.
0-6 monthsRight from birth, babies develop at a rapid pace. Between 0 and 6 months of age, babies express an interest in everything that surrounds them. They are able to recognize familiar people and objects, distinguish day from night, and coordinate various simple actions such as grabbing an object and putting it in their mouth. Here are a few ways you can stimulate their cognitive development:
6-12 monthsFrom 6 months of age, babies begin to manifest intentions through their actions and behavior (linked to obtaining a specific response or thing) and have a certain understanding of cause and effect. For example, they may associate their bottle to drinking milk. They enjoy peek-a-boo games and can look for objects they let fall to the floor. Through imitation, they are able to deposit objects in containers and find items hidden under something. Here are a few activities that are great for children of this age:
1-2 years oldThis is the age at which children acquire object permanence; they are able to understand that objects (and people) continue to exist even if they cannot see them. They are also able to recognize their reflection in a mirror. Through play, they can imitate various daily actions and change the function of different objects. Furthermore, they can associate objects to corresponding illustrations and point to their different body parts or to themselves if an adult asks them where they are. Here are a few activities that are interesting for children of this age group:
2 to 3 years oldAt this age, children are interested in scribbling. They also love to change the names of people and animals. They are able to understand the difference between "one object" and "several objects". They can count "2" objects and state their age. When asked, they are able to distinguish between a small object and a large object. They understand spatial concepts such as "in", "on", "under", and "over". Here are a few activities that children of this age will enjoy:
3-4 years oldAt this age, children can have an imaginary friend. They enjoy drawing, but they are the only ones who can identify or recognize the items they draw. They can count to ten or count up to six objects that are set in front of them. They are able to understand "today", "yesterday", and "tomorrow". They can differentiate girls and boys as well as heavy and light objects. They can complete puzzles containing six pieces and name three colors and the three basic shapes.
4-5 years oldChildren of this age are now able to draw stick figures. They love stories, reading, and inventing. They understand "morning", "afternoon" and "evening". They are able to remember four different items seen in an illustration, name eight colors, and count to 20. They are developing abilities in preparation for kindergarten. Here are a few activities that are perfect for children of this age group:
A few things to keep in mindFor each developmental sphere, children complete the various stages in chronological order. However, the speed at which the stages are reached can vary greatly. For this reason, avoid comparing two children of the same age. If you feel a child has already acquired the competencies associated with his/her age group, do not hesitate to use the activities of the following age group to stimulate him/her further.
On the other hand, if a child's development worries you, do not hesitate to encourage parents to consult a healthcare professional. This consultation will either reassure parents or, if necessary, result in a referral to a specialist.
Have fun with little ones!
Maude DubéSpecialized child educator
Educatall.com is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. Educatall.com shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.
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