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Saturday, 15 June 2019

Understand Your Child's Development: Developing Thinking Skills


Understanding which cognitive development stage your child is at will help you to help them think better. For example, if your child is not at the logical reasoning stage then there's no use trying to reason logically with them. Help your child to develop thinking skills through these four stages developed by Piaget.

1. Sensorimotor Stage
This stage occurs from birth to 2 years. As the name suggests, children learn to think through movement. They act on the immediate environment with the movements they make. This is how they learn about things in their environment.


What to do: Provide sensory toys such as mobiles, rattles, toys that light up or pop up when pushed, poked and so on. What you're looking for here are things that has a cause and effect: when baby pushes a button, something happens or when baby kicks her feet on the toy, something happens.

2. Preoperational Stage
From 2 to 7 years of age, your child will start to think inside their head. They start to use their imagination. Play becomes more imaginative rather than just a cause and effect activity. This is the stage where you'll see your child playing make-believe. They'll start to use a block to represent a phone and then as they progress to the later stage, they'll be able to pretend to pick up the phone without the use of the block - it'll be entirely in their imagination.


What to do: Provide imaginative play experiences. Play make believe - pretend to order food in a restaurant, play pretend families. 

3. Concrete Operational Stage
During this stage, from 7 to 11 years, your child will start to think logically but it has to be about things that they can see or touch. It has to be 'Concrete'.


What to do: Provide lots of concrete experiences. Take your child to field trips and excursions where they can actually see, feel and touch things. Give your child concrete things to touch, handle and manipulate.

4. Formal Operational Stage
From 11 years and onward, your child can think logically and abstractly. They can reason logically inside their head. No longer is there a need for concrete experiences. They can think about world hunger without having to experience it.


What to do: Provide opportunities for discussions. Have your child prepare a kutba for the family.


This is a very brief description of Piaget's cognitive development. I also talk about Vygotsky's theory as well. For more details and activities to do with your child, get my book that I co-authored 'Understand Your Child's Development: For the Muslim Parent'. Get it below, my affiliate link:

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