Cognitive development is important to your child’s overall development. It is how children think, explore, and figure things out. With a strong foundation in cognitive skills children develop knowledge through experimentation and build problem solving skills.
You can support your child’s development by allowing them to learn through play. Young children learn best when they are interested in an activity and having fun. As your child plays, be sure to ask questions about what is happening. This will not only get them practicing important language skills, but it will also get them thinking more deeply about what they are doing in their play. Here are some great ways to support your preschooler’s cognitive development.
PLAY BOARD GAMES
Playing board games with your preschooler fosters many important developmental skills. Math skills such as number sense is easily practiced while playing simple board games. Number sense is the understanding of things like more and less, one-to-one correspondence, and the order of numbers.
Playing board games can also prompt your preschooler to think strategically. Peaceable Kingdom has many age appropriate board games for preschoolers, such as Hoot Owl Hoot! and Race to the Treasure!, that involve just a little bit of strategy, matching, counting, and cooperation.
Doing science experiments with your preschooler isn’t only fun, but it also encourages critical thinking and problem solving skills. Give your preschooler the freedom to explore by providing them with open ended materials that lend themselves to experimentation. For example, set out a baking sheet with a box of baking soda spread evenly across it, some droppers, food coloring, and vinegar. They will be working on identifying colors, color mixing, and chemical reactions.
Young children love exploring nature. They can often find things that they have never seen before. Exploring nature with your preschooler will give them a great chance to learn about the world around them. Let them observe little critters such as worms, insects, and spiders. If you are lucky enough to catch one in the act, your preschooler will be fascinated by how spiders spin their webs. This could lead to further learning about how and what spiders eat.
Cooking with your preschooler can be so much fun. Aside from getting too close to the hot stove, your preschooler can participate in just about any part of cooking. Don’t be afraid to let them help even with the parts that you think might be too challenging for them. Let them chop vegetables and crack the eggs!
This is a great time for your preschooler to learn about how household items work and to solve problems, such as if an egg shell got in the food. Through cooking, your preschooler will be exposed to measuring and the different tools that we use for measuring. They will also be counting and learning new vocabulary as they cook.
Your preschooler is constantly using their cognitive development skills as they play and explore the world around them. Let them experiment and create things and play games with them. Most importantly, talk with your preschooler, ask questions, and of course have fun!