Cognitive development is the process by which children learn and grow intellectually. It begins at birth and continues throughout a person’s life. Nevertheless, the early years are particularly important for cognitive development. To learn more, continue reading below.
Why Is Cognitive Development Important In The Early Years
Experts believe that the early years are a critical time for cognitive development. Why? It’s because the brain is growing and developing rapidly during this time, and new neural connections are being formed all the time.
By providing children with a stimulating environment and engaging in activities that support cognitive development in a nursery checklist, parents and caregivers can help children reach their full cognitive potential.
What Are Some Of The Key Milestones In Cognitive Development During The Early Years
Some of the key milestones in cognitive development during the early years include:
- Language Development
Children begin to learn language at a very young age. By the time they’re 12 months old, it’s believed that most children can understand and use simple words and phrases. By the time they’re three years old, most children can use language to communicate their needs and desires, and to tell stories.
- Memory Development
Children’s memory also develops rapidly during the early years. By the time they’re a year old, most children can remember simple events that happened to them a few days ago. By the time they’re three years old, most children can remember complex events that happened several weeks or even months ago.
- Problem-solving Development
Children develop their problem-solving skills during the early years as well. Most children can solve simple problems during their first year. Meanwhile, by the time they’re three years old, most kids can solve more complex problems, such as figuring out how to open a locked door.
- Creativity Development
Children have innate creativity. At an early age, kids love to explore and experiment, and they come up with new and innovative ways to solve problems.
What Are Some Things That Parents And Caregivers Can Do To Nurture Cognitive Development In The Early Years
There are many things that parents and caregivers can do to nurture cognitive development in the early years. Here are a few tips:
- Talk To Your Child
One of the best things you can do for your kid’s cognitive development is to talk to them. Talk to them about your day, about the things you see around you, and about the things they’re interested in. The more you talk to your child, the more they’ll learn about language and the world around them.
- Read To Your Child
Reading to your child is another great way to support their cognitive development. Reading exposes children to new vocabulary and concepts, and it helps them to develop their listening and comprehension skills. For reading sessions, pick age-appropriate literature that imparts important life lessons, too.
- Play With Your Child
Play is a great way for children to learn and explore. When you play with your child, you can engage in activities that support their cognitive development, such as building blocks, playing puzzles, and playing games. It’s said that keeping an active lifestyle not only helps develop the brain but fix one’s stature as well.
If you’re a caregiver or learning professional in a daycare center, make sure that you monitor all of the children under your care at all times during playtime. This is to avoid any untoward accident caused by unsupervised play.
- Provide A Stimulating Environment
Children need a stimulating environment to learn and grow. Provide your child with a variety of toys and materials to explore, and make sure they have plenty of opportunities to interact with other children from your immediate family or neighbors and daycare.
Other Tips For Nurturing Cognitive Development In The Early Years Of Children
Check out the additional tips below for helping your kid with their cognitive development during their early years.
- Be responsive to your child’s needs. When your child is talking to you or trying to get your attention, stop what you’re doing and pay attention to them.
- Be patient and supportive. Learning takes time and effort. Don’t get frustrated if your child doesn’t master a skill right away. Your child will sense the frustration that you have with them, and this may impair their ability to move forward.
- Make learning fun. Children learn best when they are having fun. Find activities that your child enjoys, as well as support their cognitive development in the long run.
- Create a positive learning environment. Children need to feel safe and loved in order to learn and grow. Make sure your child feels comfortable and supported in your home. If you’re a care provider at a children’s development facility, make sure that you nurture a non-judgmental environment that encourages learning through mistakes.
Nurturing cognitive development in the early years is essential for helping younglings reach their full potential. By providing children with a stimulating environment and engaging in activities that support cognitive development, parents and caregivers can help children develop the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.