Which Skill: Cognitive: Thinking, Learning, Memory and Problem-Solving Skills.
What are they?
Basic cognitive skills are the ‘thinking’ and ‘knowing’ psychological processes involved in a toddler’s development.
They will develop these skills rapidly and build on them progressively thoughout their lives.
Some cognitive skill development will be related to a toddler’s genetic makeup, but most cognitive skills are learned.
Which means that learning and thinking skills can be improved with the right training and practice.
Attention: This enables your toddler to concentrate on one conversation or task for an extended length of time.
Memory: An important cognitive skill that allows a toddler to retain learned experiences and build a future base of knowledge.
Thinking: The ability to think includes the capability to reason out tasks and find solutions.
Why are they important?
Cognitive skills are the crucial skills which help children to process sensory information and eventually learn to evaluate, analyse, remember, make comparisons and understand cause and effect.
These skills are important to allow toddlers to begin to develop their own questions about the world around them
How do you develop these skills and what are they commonly used for?
For toddlers, this information is learned in many ways, through their senses of touch, taste, sound, sight, smell and also through language.
Preschool age children learn and develop these skills by listening, watching, playing, asking questions and doing things for themselves.
All these activities will help your toddler’s brain develop to understand more complex processes and thoughts as they grow.
This in turn will stimulate curiosity and imagination and encourage your toddler to try new experiences.
Play is crucial for positive toddler development and the wider range of activities the better.
Opportunities for both structured and free play will stimulate healthy cognitive development. This encourages confidence, self-esteem, problem-solving and the ability to work amicably with others.
These are vitally important skills which your child will need to succeed throughout their life.
Activities to encourage positive cognitive development…
Give your toddler choices, between 2 options… “Do you wear blue socks or red ones today?”
Sing together, listen to music at home or in the car. Encourage your toddler to remember the words.
Point out shapes and colours. Talk about colours, shapes and numbers throughout the day.
Count anything and everything! Indoors, outside, help your toddler to grasp the concept of numbers naturally during their everyday life.
Read books which highlight the alphabet. A is for…, B is for, etc. Also, sing the alphabet song, use letters and talk
Ask your toddler to identify every day noises… a dog barking, the washing machine spinning, a bird singing.
This will help your child to build up an understanding of the world around them.
Matching and sorting with everyday items is cost effective, educational and fun. “Can you find me 2 green apples?”, or “Can you find me 3 red crayons?”
Visit interesting places and ask questions. Even a trip to the shops can be an exciting adventure if you ask questions and prompt exploration.
If you need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out…