Cognitive development – a fundamental area for childcare professionals

Cognitive development is an important term often used by researchers and educators. For children in their Early Years, it is a much more important area of development as it lays the foundation on which the infrastructure of child development stands firmly. But what cognitive development means and how does it affect other areas of child development, especially in Early Education? In this article, we will unleash all aspects like what cognitive development is. What are the different areas of cognitive development? What is the role of parents, educators and daycares? How to improve it through different activities? Let us explore:

What is Cognitive Development?

Cognitive development is the process by which children develop their thinking and reasoning skills through different activities and learning opportunities. It includes:

  • Memory & Focus
  • Logical and Critical Thinking
  • Sensory Exploration
  • Language & Communication Skills
  • Problem-solving Abilities
  • Fine motor & Gross Motor Skills

As the children grow, they learn to think in more focused ways. They learn to memorize situations, facts, and spellings, and use language to communicate their thoughts and ideas. And they become better at solving problems. Fine and Gross motor skill development is also a vital aspect of a child’s learning to excel in problem-solving techniques and all these factors contribute to better cognitive development.

Areas of Cognitive Development

Cognitive development focuses on acquiring and applying knowledge and skills. This journey starts right from the child’s birth and carries on throughout life. There are four main domains of cognitive development:

1. Language development:

This is the ability to understand and use letters, sounds, words and sentences to express thoughts and observations. It starts with learning to listen and ends with being able to speak, read and write.

2. Mathematical development:

This is the ability to understand numbers, number operations, reasoning, logic and spatial relationships. It starts with counting objects and ends with being able to solve complex problems.

3. Scientific Development:

This is the ability to understand how the world works. It starts with observing things around you and ends with being able to explain why they happen. Scientific facts, experiments, history, social studies and cultural activities like dramatic plays, and role plays, all are included in this area.

4. Motor Development:

This area means intelligently using reaction time to use fine motor and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills include activities which use small hand muscles like arts & crafts, using scissors, drawing, colouring and paper craft whereas gross motor skills involve big muscles like playing physical games like tennis, skipping rope, crossing hurdles, etc.

Activities to Promote Cognitive Development

Cognitive development is the process of acquiring, storing, and using knowledge. It is a lifelong process that begins in infancy and continues throughout adulthood. There are many activities that childcare providers can do to promote cognitive development in children. Some of these activities include: 

  • Encouraging infants and toddlers to explore their environment through “sensory play”
  • Encouraging positive “social interactions” with other children and adults
  • Providing opportunities for children to experiment to “teach cause and effect & spatial relations”
  • Fostering “creativity and imagination” through arts and crafts, music, and movement activities
  • Encouraging “problem-solving and critical thinking” through puzzles, games, and thoughtful questions

Each child is unique and will develop at their own pace, so it is important to provide a variety of “differentiated activities” and experiences that can support cognitive development.

Benefits of Daycare Apps & Software in Cognitive Development

Young children are now exposed to the internet, related gadgets and IT tools like never before. So we should try to utilize this much-digitized world to enhance their cognitive health. By offering purposeful learning applications and educational games, we can sharpen the cognitive health score of young children, for example, spelling games, phonic recognition games, reading & listening apps, shapes, problem-solving sums, colour sorting, practical life skills like dressing, baking, cutting, salon app and games and so much more. Let’s see how these apps & games can benefit parents, daycares providers and preschoolers:

  • Many preschool apps are specifically designed to teach young children important educational concepts like literacy, math skills, the world around us and practical life skills etc.
  • Preschool apps, games and software can provide a stimulating and engaging environment for children to explore and learn from the world around us. They can help to develop their cognitive skills, including problem-solving, memory, and attention.
  • Using preschool apps can also be a great way for parents to bond with their children and support their learning. By spending time together playing and learning with an app, parents can help their child to develop a love of learning from an early age.
  • The same is the case with daycares where the daycare providers and the management can use these apps and software to make the children excel in the emerging literacy techniques
  • This software can help the daycares & management to track and upload their cognitive development and report it to parents
  • Childcare or daycare providers can encourage parents to communicate through these apps and software to play their timely response in the overall cognitive development of their child

Final thoughts…

To conclude, parents and daycare providers should look for ways to encourage cognitive development in a child through everyday activities and interactions. And if you work in the childcare industry, remember that you play a vital role in promoting cognitive development in the children under your care. While there is not only one perfect way to promote cognitive development in childcare, there are many effective ways to do so. By providing stimulating activities, encouraging exploration and creativity, and fostering a love of learning, you can give the children in your daycare a strong foundation on which you build their future success.

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The Kidvy Team
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