The preschool period is a time of rapid growth along a number of developmental measures, especially children’s thinking abilities, the development of cognitive activity at preschool age cognition. The preschool period is a time of rapid growth along a number of developmental measures, not the least of which is children’s thinking abilities, or cognition. Memory is the ability to acquire, store, and recall information or experiences across time. It is not until age 3 that children can reliably do this, although they remain better at recognition than recall, and they do not show the ability to spontaneously use mnemonic strategies to assist remembering for a number of years.
Want to work on phonics and memory at the same time? Children’s ability to create mental images of people or events also facilitates memory. Help your child learn to create and maintain images with these fun puzzles. Want to develop your child’s sequencing skills? Russian researcher Lev Vygotsky believed cognition advanced through social interactions and problem solving. Vygotsky also noticed that, as children were moving towards independence with challenging tasks, they would talk to themselves.
Termed private speech, this self-talk is highly prevalent in children ages 3-7. Thereafter, it mutates into inner speech or internal thought, although it is likely to resurface at challenging or confusing tasks. While current researchers question if preschoolers are as illogical as Piaget posited, anyone who has spent time with them knows they think differently than adults! The idea of perceptually-based centration expands beyond conservation to the preschoolers’ larger world view. For example, children may say that grass grows so that they do not get hurt when they fall or because they like chocolate, everyone must. Children’s illogical thinking extends across various domains. For example, in their classification abilities, they cannot yet understand that one object can be classified multiple ways.
For example, children may say there are more girls than children in a co-ed class, or that they don’t want fruit for snack, they want a pear. In the same way, they will often over-generalize their category labels. In addition, preschoolers often rely on transductive reasoning, whereby they believe the similarities between two objects or the sequence of events provides evidence of cause and effect. For example, if a child sees their teacher at school in the morning and again when they leave, they may believe their teacher must live there. Similarly, if their friend is Italian and eats pasta, they may believe that eating pasta will make someone Italian.
The time from 3-5 is the heart of symbol development in young children. Preschoolers learn to mentally use and represent tangible objects through images, words, and drawings. In fact, imaginative play is related to cognitive growth and achievement. For example, preschoolers who engage in more complex pretend play demonstrate advanced general intellectual development and are seen as more socially competent by their teachers. Children who create imaginary friends, who previously would have been red-flagged as at risk for maladjustment, demonstrate more advanced mental representations and more sociability with their peers than those who do not. While there is no denying the unique perspective that preschoolers view the world with, there are contexts and domains within which these very young children do in fact think logically.
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