The 4 Stages of Cognitive Development

Smiling babyCognitive development is a field of study that focuses on a child’s development in terms of information processing, conceptual resources, perceptual skill, language learning, and other aspects of brain development and cognitive psychology.

Every child goes through 4 stages of cognitive development.

Sensorimotor Stage 1
This is the first stage of cognitive development and starts at birth lasting until your child is 2 years of age.

At this stage your child learns about the environment around her through her senses (what she sees, hears and smells) and her muscles (what she touches and feels).

Further, when you speak to your child, your language is another factor through which your child will learn more about the world around her.

Representational Stage 2
This second stage starts at 2 years of age lasting until 7. Here, your child will represent the things around her by using words, images and objects – all representational items, instead of the actual thing itself.

For example, you can use representational characters and places to talk to your child about places and situations they might not yet have experienced.  The Lego Community minifigures set is full of lots of different characters and the Lego sets such as the Lego Police Station and the Lego Castle Medieval Market Village are great mini-sets full of detail and will give you plenty to talk to and play acting opportunities with you child.

Your child’s language will increase in leaps and bounds they will find it easier to express themselves and the scenes and situations around them.

Concrete Operations Stage 3
From seven to eleven your child goes through what is known as the concrete operations stage. This means she can actually think through a situation without acting it out. The important point to note about this stage is that your child can see the consequences of her actions and may be able to work out what is going to happen, before it actually happens.

Formal Operations Stage 4
This last stage begins at around the age of eleven years. Children at this stage can reason with abstract thoughts and ideas and don’t need to depend on concrete observations.

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