Cognitive learning is an active form of learning, that encourages children to make connections through play using thought, experiences, and the child’s senses.
How can we encourage our children’s developmental growth through cognitive play?
Here are a few ideas.
1. Language & Cognitive Learning
The language we use when speaking to our children is an important learning tool. The phrases we use to explain what we see and hear encourage our children to take note of their surroundings. For example; ‘Look at the big blue round ball’, ‘The sun is hot and yellow’, ‘Is the bath empty or full?’ Listening skills are key to learning.
2. Maths & Cognitive Learning
Count, count and count some more. From a young age, you can introduce mathematical concepts. For instance counting, you can make it fun by spontaneously counting objects around you. Count the number of stairs at the mall. When unpacking the apples get your little ones to count them as they place them in the fruit basket. There are so many ways to get creative about counting. Use language like more or less, full and empty, small and big, all the while giving examples.
3. Options & Cognitive Learning
By allowing our children to make decisions for themselves we are growing their independence. Teaching them that there are choices in life and through conscious thought, they are capable of such. Again, by using language to verbalize this, we as their parents can help them develop their critical thinking skills.
4. Games & Cognitive Learning
Games that encourage problem-solving such as ‘peek-a-boo’, blocks, lego, puzzles, cards, and chess (as they get older) will help with critical thinking and creativity, enhancing the cognitive learning process.
5. Exploring & Cognitive Learning
Turn learning into a fun experience. Visit interesting places like museums, parks, aquariums, and zoos. Let your child lead the conversation, asking and answering questions that encourage thought. Bring in science and technology at an age-appropriate level. All the while stretching your child’s mind to think deeper, question their surroundings, and embrace all that surrounds them.