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Play-based cognitive development activities for toddlers

What is cognitive development?

Brain development, also called cognitive development is basically the process of learning language, thinking, reasoning and memory. How children explore, think and figure things out, all fall under this umbrella. It is this development of skills and knowledge that help them in problem solving and generally understanding the world around them. Helping young children in this mastering this area of development required proper knowledge and attention to the finer aspects of learning. Reggio Emilia inspired activities make this an easy task to manage.

What are cognitive activities?

Activities that encourage children to think, analyze and make decisions can be broadly called cognitive activities. Toys and open-ended play also help children channel their creative side while giving them the opportunity to develop essential life skills. There are 10 cognitive skills that are considered core in the optimum development of a child. These are:

  1. Sustained attention

  2. Selective attention

  3. Divided attention

  4. Long-term memory

  5. Response inhibition

  6. Speed of processing information

  7. Logic and reasoning

  8. Working memory

  9. Category formation

  10. Pattern recognition

It is thus important that activities are designed and planned out in a way that these areas of development are focused on. It is easier to manage this in a small class learning environment.

Activities that enhance cognitive development in toddlers

The significance of helping in the cognitive development of children cannot be emphasized enough. While there are a lot of activities that can be practiced to help in this endeavor, it can quickly become boring for the child who have short attention spans. Therefore, ensuring that these activities are made interesting and fun, becomes paramount. Some of the prominent and most effective play-based learning activities that can help in your child’s development are listed below:

  1. Sorting – sizes, shapes, colors and more.

  2. Number and alphabet games

  3. Puzzles and matching games

  4. Finding and hiding objects

  5. Reading, nursery rhymes, riddles, and poems

  6. All kinds of arts and crafts

  7. Outdoor games

How to engage children in cognitive activities?

The easiest answer to this is with the help of kindergartens. International kindergartens can give your child a wide exposure in terms of facilities and access to a broader range of social and cultural experiences. Preschools have the space and capacity to facilitate well-planned activities for your child. With activities and curriculum curated to match the age-appropriate developmental needs of your child, experienced educators can help your child understand the adventurous world around them and guide them onto the path of lifelong learning.


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