The importance of Cognitive Development
The first few years of a child’s life is critical to their overall development, living in a world that is so screen orientated, it makes developing cognitive skills and abilities so much more difficult. Parents and teachers need to ensure that they first understand these skills and secondly how to implement this through play.
For children under the age of 3, the brain is making 700 to 1,00 neural connections every second!
As we get older, our brain’s ability to adapt to change reduces, making the first few years of a child’s life critical to their overall development and success in the future.
This is why parents need to understand that we need to not only think about “what” my child is learning but “how” they are thinking and learning.
We need to understand why Cognitive Development is important?
Cognitive development provides children with the means of paying attention to thinking about the world around them.
Everyday experiences can impact a child’s cognitive development.
Cognitive development encompasses a child’s working memory, attention, as well as child’s ability to manage and respond to the experiences and information they experience daily.
Cognitive development helps with taking in information and processing it on a daily basis with intent and purpose.
What skills fall under “cognitive development?
- Logic and reasoning
- Memory and working memory
- Impulse Control
- Flexibility, ability to adapt/shift
- Evaluation and analyzing skills
- Ability to make comparisons
- Explore and understand cause and effect
- Critical thinking, higher-level thinking
Cognitive skills are often divided into nine different categories. Each of these cognitive skills reflects a different method that your brain uses to effectively interpret and use information.
- Sustained attention
- Selective attention
- Divided attention
- Long-term memory
- Working memory
- Logic and reasoning
- Auditory processing
- Visual processing
- Processing speed
What can I do to support my child’s cognitive development?
- Understanding their skillset is what we feel is the first and most important step in this process. I can not help my child if I don’t know exactly what his/her ability is. We do this through our FOCUS ASSESSMENT.
- Ask questions to get their imagination going.“What do you think will happen if we do ……why do you think that happened?
- Express interest in your child’s activities and try to observe and reflect on what you believe they are trying to accomplish.
- Make a big thing out of accomplishments. There is nothing as rewarding as recognition.
- 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. Ask open-ended questions and be specific in your question.
- Encourage problem-solving – if a child struggles, the first thing we normally do is to help them get it right. Adopt a mindset of letting them struggle and guide them through that struggle to get to the solution. By doing that you are teaching your child that struggling is part of life, but more importantly that if one way does not work, there is always another way, we just need to find it.
Biolink Attention Training