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because everything starts with a seed….

Cognitive Development

Refers to the growth of a child’s ability to think, understand concepts, make judgements and comparisons and also reason

The first few years of life are vital for this development and research shows a strong correlation to success in later years. A foundation for life and learning is being constructed in early childhood!

What skills do we need to develop? Higher order thinking skills, the ability to solve problems, appropriate attention span and memory skills are all part of this foundation.

How to help? Play games with your child that develop these skills:

• Higher order thinking skills – we have previously outlined the importance of asking questions when you read to your child to encourage predictions, cause and effect in stories.

• Constructing with blocks or Lego. Suggest structures for the child to construct – what is the highest tower you can build? What makes it stronger?

Problem solving questions to ask:

Why do you think that happened? What can we change/improve/remove to fix this?

Is there another way to do this?

• Simple board games develop problem-solving skills and also encourage social development as child learns to lose gracefully!

• The sorting, manipulation of pieces and trial and error of fitting them together, makes simple jigsaw puzzles an excellent activity. There are lots online as well.

•Memory games – Concentration – deal cards face down and then find matching cards to make pairs. Cards with pictures work really well here.

Kim’s game – put several items on a tray, have the child look at them carefully. Cover tray and recall what you saw.

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