Please change your advice for parents the language development of the child settings or upgrade your browser. Children in this age group undergo the most dramatic changes in their development.
The time between 6 and 8 is one of tremendous cognitive change for children. They move from being preschoolers into middle childhood, from a life dominated by fantasy to one that is beginning to be governed by logic and reason. Children at age 6 are in the latter phases of Piaget’s preoperational period, the time during which children learn to use language. The end of the preoperational period is marked by the child’s intuitive grasp of logical concepts in limited, tangible arenas, while continuing to be dominated by perceptions in other arenas. Completing this stage means that children are now able to mentally manipulate information and begin to take another person’s point of view or infer what another person is thinking, spontaneously and independently.
These accomplishments notwithstanding, children this age still remain magical in their thinking. At about the age of 7, children enter what Piaget termed the concrete operational period, which lasts until they are about 12 years old. One place this is brilliantly seen is through the work of Lev Vygotsky, a Russian researcher from the early part of the 20th century. Vygotsky’s theories emphasize the imperative role of social interaction and cultural context in cognitive development. Additional cognitive skills that develop across this age are the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality, to describe similarities between two objects, and to apply creative thinking to problem solving. Want to challenge your child’s skills? These new skills, combined with the onset of more complex thinking, allow children to demonstrate persistence and resilience when working on a project.