The development of thinking and imagination at preschool age

Encourage your child to use her imagination — it’s not just fun, but builds learning skills too! Young children learn by imagining and doing. Have you ever watched your child pick up a the development of thinking and imagination at preschool age and pretend it is a zooming car, or hop a Lego across the table as if it were a person or a bunny? Through cooperative play, he learns how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve.

When your child pretends to be different characters, he has the experience of “walking in someone else’s shoes,” which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. Have you ever listened in as your child engages in imaginary play with his toys or friends? You will probably hear some words and phrases you never thought he knew! In fact, we often hear our own words reflected in the play of children. Kids can do a perfect imitation of mom, dad, and the teacher!

Pretend play helps your child understand the power of language. In addition, by pretend playing with others, he learns that words give him the means to reenact a story or organize play. Pretend play provides your child with a variety of problems to solve. Whether it’s two children wanting to play the same role or searching for the just right material to make a roof for the playhouse, your child calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that he will use in every aspect of his life, now and forever. Does your child enjoy a bit of roughhousing?

Not enough pretend play at your house? Consider creating a prop box or corner filled with objects to spark your preschooler’s fantasy world. Get kids learning with these fun, themed activities! Nutritious breakfast and snack recipes—with food activities for kids! Reinforce your child’s time telling skills with this award-winning mobile app!

Get expert advice on reading, homework help, learning activities, and more. Please forward this error screen to sharedip-2322922633. The preschool period is a time of rapid growth along a number of developmental measures, especially children’s thinking abilities, or 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.