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What do you need to know about cognition, cognitive development, and cognitive skills

“What we see in the crib is the greatest mind that has ever existed, the most powerful learning machine in the universe” (from Scientist on the Crib by Gopnik, Meltzoff, and Kuhl).

This quote from Scientist on the Crib begins a California Department of Education report on children’s cognitive development. If, back in the days, kids were viewed as rather simple-minded, the last couple of decades showed a significant change in how educators, psychologists, and neurologists look at them. It has been widely recognized that kids’ brains are very complex and very active.

According to The Rhode Show’s recent report on kids’ cognitive development, a toddlers’ brain is making 700 to 1000 neural connections every second! As we get older, our brains become less active and adaptive to change, so the first few years of our life are critical in our over-all development and future success. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that our kids receive proper nourishment for their oh-so-busy minds. This nourishment, in other words, refers to involving kids in activities that enhance their cognitive development.

What is cognitive development?

The term “cognition” is defined simply as “the act of knowing and perceiving.” Therefore, cognitive development can be explained as the process of developing the ability to perceive and acquire knowledge effectively. The California Department of Education defines cognitive development as “the process of growth and change in intellectual/mental abilities such as thinking, reasoning and understanding.”  Our cognitive development defines how we perceive, think, and understand the world around us and how we convert the information we receive into knowledge that we can apply in life. Cognitive development is directly connected to the development of specific cognitive skills.

What are the cognitive skills?

Study.com explains cognitive skills as learning skills that “enable children to process sensory information and eventually learn to evaluate, analyze, remember, make comparisons, and understand cause and effect.” These are the specific mental and intellectual skills that enable us to receive information, convert it into knowledge, and then apply it to life. These skills include, but are not limited to, memory, logic and reasoning, attention, control maintenance, ability to adapt, evaluation and analysis, critical thinking, visual analysis, number sense, the ability to make comparisons, understanding cause and effect, etc. Genetic makeup plays only a minor role in cognitive skills development; cognitive skills are mostly learned, which means that they can be improved through practice and training.

Why are cognitive development and cognitive skills so important?

Cognitive development, in many ways, defines our ability to adapt and be successful in the world we live in. Having strong cognitive skills allows us to handle day-to-day tasks effectively and adequately respond to various life experiences.

How to help your kids with cognitive development

In their report, The Rhode Show provides a list of activities that parents can implement to make sure their kids are on the right track. Here are some of the tips they shared:

  • Help children to keep focused and attentive by limiting distractions and interruptions. (This allows them to develop focus and get used to working on one task for long periods of time.)
  • Express interest in your child’s activities and try to observe and reflect on what you believe they are trying to accomplish.
  • Offer materials that are challenging enough to be interesting but not impossible.
  • Share the joy children feel as they show you their accomplishments.
  • Help children develop memories by keeping the routine and room arrangement predictable; keep toys where children know to find them.
  • Talk with children about what they did earlier in the day or the day before.
  • Provide many opportunities to categorize, match, sort, compare, and contrast with toys and activities.
  • Encourage problem solving.

 

How can Eggs Time products help?

Eggs Time sets kids’ education and proper development as a priority when creating new products. All our Eggs include surprise toys that promote learning and improve cognitive skills. Our paper and video games include puzzles and mazes, as well as games that challenge kids to find differences between two almost identical images. These games are meant to train kids’ logic, reasoning, attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. Our puzzle toys, which come in geometric and animal shapes, can separate into rearrangeable parts, allowing kids to improve their logic and visual analysis as they try to construct the toy from the given pieces.

Moreover, our toys allow for collaborative play. Parents’ participation and proper communication with kids is crucial for building children’s cognitive skills. You can easily use our toys to play with your child. Try our action figures to role play and learn colors, shapes, and numbers with your kid. Your child’s cognitive development is crucial for their future success in life and must be taken seriously. You can effectively use our toys to enhance your kid’s development, search the web for more advice, or come up with your own creative ways to improve your child’s cognition. If you want to know more details about the cognitive skills your child should have at their current age, refer to this check list from Pathways.org https://pathways.org/topics-of-development/milestones/checklists/.

 

List of terms

Cognition: the act of knowing and perceiving.

Cognitive development: the process of growth and change in intellectual/mental abilities such as thinking, reasoning, and understanding.

Cognitive skills: learning skills that enable children to process sensory information and eventually learn to evaluate, analyze, remember, make comparisons, and understand cause and effect.

 

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