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Cognitive Development:
From 4-6 Years

Cognitive development is how your child acquires knowledge about his surroundings.

Cognitive Development

This involves his... memory, concentration, attention and perception, imagination and creativity.

Stages of Learning... 4 Years

Your 4 year old child...

  • Enjoys counting up to twenty, and understands the concept of numbers up to three.
  • Talks about things in the past and future.
  • Can sort objects into groups.
  • Has increased memory skills for e.g. he can remember a particular event, such as when his aunties and uncles visited several months previously.
  • Can give reasons and solve problems.
  • Often confuses fact with fiction.

Stages of Learning... 5 Years

Your 5 year old child...

  • Produces drawings with good detail for e.g. a house with windows, a door, a roof and a chimney.
  • Asks about abstract words... for instance... ’What does “beyond” mean?’.
  • Can give his full name, age and address and often his birthday.
  • Talks about the past, present and future, with a good sense of time.

Stages of Learning... 6 Years

Your 6 year old child...

  • Begins to think in a more co-ordinated way, and can hold more than one point of view at a time.
  • Begins to develop concepts of quantity... distance, area, time, weight, length etc.
  • Is able to distinguish the difference between reality and fantasy.
  • Is interested in basic scientific principles and is beginning to understand concepts like what happens to materials if it’s heated.
  • Is increasingly influenced by cultural conventions in drawing and writing often combining his own personal symbols with letters from the alphabet.
  • Is able to count accurately up to 20 times.
  • Names days of the week in order.
  • Can arrange objects in order of size.
  • Is able to print own name.
  • Tells month and day of birthday.
  • Counts up to a hundred by repetition.
  • Can predict what happens next.

Activities and Equipment To Help Promote His Cognitive Development

Toys/Equipment What he learns Intellectual Skills Developed
Shape sorters
Tray puzzles
3 piecs puzzles
12 piece puzzles
Learns about shapes and space. He also learns to sort and match. As he grows older, trial and error learning will decrease as he starts to use reasoning skills to work out the position of pieces. Classifying
Attention and concentration
Sorting objects...
Plastic shapes
Develops his ability to sort, order and classify objects according to colour, shape or size. Classifying
Attention and concentration
Sewing cards...
Threading beads
Helps him learn about patterns and colours. Classifying
Attention and concentration
Kim's game Objects are put on a tray and then one is removed. He has to work out which one is missing. Memory
Attention and concentration
Construction toys...
Wooden bricks
He learns about space, shape and structures. He can also experience matching and sorting as well as being encouraged to think about size. Classifying
Attention and concentration
Matching games...
These type of games help your child sort and match. Pelmanism can help his memory as he works out where he's seen a matching card. Cards are put face down; he chooses a card and work out where the matching pair is. Classifying
Attention and concentration
Feely bags These encourage him to use his senses to work out what object is in a bag. Classifying
Attention and concentration

Your Role to Help Develop His Cognitive Development

To help develop your child's cognitive development, you should...

  • Choose activities that are practical.
  • Check that activities are suitable for his current level of understanding.
  • Repeat activities frequently.
  • Break down concepts and activities into smaller steps.
  • Look for different ways of presenting the same concept.
  • Avoid him becoming frustrated and tired by an activity.
  • Praise him for his efforts.

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